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Newcastle's Mitch Barnett is set to face a lengthy stint on the sidelines after becoming the first player of the 2022 season to be sent off.

The Knights forward has come under fire for a raised elbow that met the chin of Penrith's Chris Smith, seeing Barnett's day come to an abrupt end.

The incident in question is sure to see the 27-year-old face multiple weeks on the sidelines, as he faces a nervous wait from the NRL Judiciary.

Should Barnett be charged with Striking, a Grade 3 offence would see the Knights lock miss a month of action.

Given Smith failed his HIA following the incident and was replaced in the Panther's lineup by 18th man, Lindsay Smith, the early signs for Barnett do not bode well.

Fans on social media quickly condemned Barnett's action, anticipating a suspension for the Taree-born forward.

The Panthers lead the Knights at half-time 12-6 thanks a pair of tries from Taylan May, with Dominic Young having scored the sole try for Newcastle at Carrington Park.