Sidelined Newcastle Knights playmaker Blake Green is confident he’ll return to the NRL line-up sooner rather than later.
The talented five-eighth suffered an ACL injury in last year’s round 15 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys, which required surgery and an off-season of rehab.
Now, the finish line’s almost in his sights after starting full training with his team-mates on Monday 15 March.
“My recovery’s going really well,” Green said.
“Fingers crossed we don’t have any hiccups along the way.
“I’m hoping it all goes smoothly for me over the next few weeks.
“This [full training] is my last box to tick but I can’t wait to get back out there.”
Green, along with star fullback Kalyn Ponga and second-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon, sat out the opening round 32-16 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs at McDonald Jones Stadium.
But, he was impressed with what he saw on the paddock.
“Some of the performances, individually last Friday night, I was just super proud of them,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.
“What can you say about David Klemmer? He played 73 minutes.
“It’s tough enough to do that every week; however to do it in the first game of the year was a big effort.
“That just shows where he’s at, at the moment, as a leader of our pack.
“Skipper Daniel Saifiti did a fantastic job, too.
“The challenge for us is to make sure we keep doing that.
“All-in-all, it was a huge night for us.
“We sold out the ground, or full capacity, for the COVID limit.
“And, we’re on track to hit 20,000 members.
“As a club, we’re heading in the right direction.”
Next up for the Knights is the unpredictable Warriors at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford, on Friday 19 March.
Under the guidance of new mentor Nathan Brown, a familiar face to the Newcastle organisation and its supporters, the New Zealand outfit burst the Gold Coast Titans’ bubble 19-6.
“I thought the Warriors looked good,” Green said.
“They had a high completion rate, about 90-odd%, and they’re very hard to beat when they play like that.
“New Zealand boasts a massive forward pack; they also picked up some big humans in the off-season.
“They were certainly a handful.
“We’re going to have to make sure we match them physically in the middle.
“But, that was a huge strength of ours at the weekend, too.
“I’m confident the boys will come away with a win.”
In further good news for the high-flying Knights, centre Bradman Best and five-eighth Kurt Mann have been named in the 17 after picking up knocks against the Bulldogs.
DATE: Friday 19 March
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
NSW Cup: 3.45pm
Round two line-ups:
Newcastle Knights –
1. Tex Hoy, 2. Starford Toa, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Kurt Mann, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Jayden Brailey (C), 10. Daniel Saifiti (C), 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Mitch Barnett, 13. Connor Watson. Interchange: 14. Sauaso Sue, 15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. Josh King, 17. Brodie Jones. Extended bench: 18. Phoenix Crossland, 19. Pasami Saulo, 20. Dom Young, 21. Gehamat Shibasaki
New Zealand Warriors –
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C), 2. David Fusitu’a, 3. Adam Pompey, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Chanel Harris-Tevita, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11. Eliesa Katoa, 12. Bayley Sironen, 13. Tohu Harris. Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 16. Leeson Ah Mau, 17. Bunty Afoa. Extended bench: 18. Marcello Montoya, 20. Sean O’Sullivan, 21. Tom Ale, 22. Jack Murchie