Phil Gould has provided an injury update on recruit Connor Tracey, while the Newcastle Knights will be without one of their crucial spine members for the opening round of the season.

Gould, the General Manager of the Canterbury Bulldogs, has revealed that Tracey has returned to training and will return through the NSW Cup in Round 2.

It is positive news for Bulldogs fans after the original timeline had him unlikely to be available before Round 6. It is believed that Tracey injured his ankle a day before signing with the Bulldogs during a training session with his previous club, Cronulla Sharks.

Connor Tracey had a bit of an accident at training,” journalist Michelle Bishop said on SEN 1170 The Run Home previously.

“24 hours before he actually did the deal (and) signed the new contract at the Bulldogs, he rolled his ankle.

“It's not just an average roll, it was a really bad roll, he will be out."

While he will return via reserve-grade in round two, it is unknown how long it will be until coach Cameron Ciraldo sees him as a potential option to be selected in the NRL first-grade team.

In other team news, Newcastle Knights hooker Jayden Brailey has provided an update on his return timeline after sustaining a slight hamstring injury, which ruled him out for both weeks of the NRL Pre-Season Challenge.

After missing the majority of the 2023 NRL season due to a knee reconstruction, the injury woes have continued for the hooker.

This wasn't the first time he had ruptured his ACL, with the 27-year-old doing it twice before - one on the right leg and one on the left leg.

Brailey admitted that he will miss the Knights opening round game against the Canberra Raiders as he looks to return in either round three or four.

“I'm probably on the unlikely side for next week, but I honestly don't have a certain date on when I'll be back," Brailey told NCA Newswire.

“If it's not round 1, then it'll be somewhere in the range of the first three rounds.”

With Brailey injured, Phoenix Crossland is the obvious choice to wear the number nine jersey. This means Tyson Gamble or Jack Cogger will play the utility role off the interchange bench as the other slots into the halves alongside Jackson Hastings.