Gidley to make comeback against Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley to make comeback against Sharks

By Todd Balym 23/02/2009 06:52:36 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle skipper Kurt Gidley will make his return from knee injury in the Knights' final NRL trial match against Cronulla at Cessnock on Saturday.

Gidley has not played since a knee cartilage injury ruled him out of Australia's failed World Cup campaign last October.

There had been fears Gidley would struggle to be fit for Newcastle's round one encounter against the Gold Coast on March 15, but coach Brian Smith on Monday said his star fullback would face the Sharks this weekend.

"He is ready to go, he will play but it will probably only be half a game," said Smith.

Gidley will be joined by Daniel Tolar, Steve Simpson and Adam MacDougall as Newcastle players to make their first appearances for 2009.

Hooker Isaac De Gois is likely to face his former Sharks teammates despite fears he had broken his collarbone against Melbourne last Saturday.

Scans on Sunday cleared De Gois of any structural damage and Smith said the lively rake was recovering well from the incident.

"He will probably play in Cessnock," he said.

With question marks still surrounding Newcastle's halves combination for the NRL season, Smith said former NSW halfback Jarrod Mullen and new recruit Ben Rogers would get their chance together against Cronulla.

While both are viewed primarily as five-eighth options, with Luke Walsh and Scott Dureau the noted halfbacks in the team, Smith will trial the pair together to see if they can strike up a winning combination.

"I will probably have a look at Rogers and Mullen this week, they've not gone together yet," he said.

"They will have the first half together at least on Saturday night."

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