Dane Gagai is believed to be close to an early return from injury in what would be a stunning recovery from a fractured cheekbone.

Gagai played out the Round 7 game against the Parramatta Eels with swelling in his cheek as the Newcastle Knights fell to a heavy loss.

Once sent for scans, a fractured showed in the cheek and Gagai was set to be ruled out for around four weeks.

That would have left him looking at a Round 11 return, however, with the Knights struggling at both ends of the park, he could be parachuted back into the team for Friday night’s critical clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs as the men from the Hunter look to snap a seven-game losing streak.

The Knights are currently in a training camp on the Sunshine Coas ahead of Friday’s magic round opener in Brisbane, and coach Adam O’Brien confirmed he was in camp with the team, with conversations between doctors and himself to confirm Gagai’s availability on Tuesday.

"He's a chance for this week, he's here (on the Sunshine Coast) with us ... We will know more (Tuesday afternoon) once I talk to the doctors," O'Brien said.

"He is an extension of the coaching staff out there, the way he directs younger guys around him.

"Losing Kurt Mann and Tyson before the game against the Cowboys hurts as well.

"It's not just troops coming back, it's about 1000 games worth of experience coming back."

The Knights attack has been a tail of woe in the last seven weeks, scoring just 62 points while conceding 320.

Gagai, who was one of the competition’s most in-form players during the opening two weeks of the season as Newcastle got the better of the Sydney Roosters in a shock opening round win, followed by the Wests Tigers in Round 2, had fallen off the boil before getting injured, but would still bring Newcastle plenty at both ends of the park.

That fight to improve the attack wasn’t made any easier last week following the double out of Jake Clifford and Adam Clune, although O’Brien hinted at leaving Crossland out of the side once again, stating that he thought Tex Hoy did a good job during Saturday’s loss to the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.

"I'm going to see how Cliff is over the next 24 or 48 hours," O'Brien said.

"If he needs another week we will go that way. I thought Tex (Hoy) did a pretty good job the other day."’

The Knights kick-off magic round against the Bulldogs at 6pm (AEST) on Friday, with teams to be confirmed at 4pm (AEST) on Tuesday afternoon.