Naiqama a chance for Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Naiqama a chance for Knights

By David Beniuk 10/04/2009 06:30:29 PM Comments (0)

Centre Wes Naiqama has successfully returned from a knee injury in the Newcastle competition and could play his second game this week in the Knights' NRL clash with the Warriors on Sunday.

Naiqama made his comeback playing the second half for Nelson Bay on Thursday night after an arthroscope had revealed micro-fractures in his right kneecap soon after last year's World Cup.

The Fiji captain spent two months in a brace and only started running last month.

Knights winger Akuila Uate (hamstring) did not train on Friday and will be checked on match eve, but coach Brian Smith said he was "most unlikely" to take to EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Smith is leaning towards Keith Lulia as Uate's replacement but could also consider Naiqama.

"Wes Naiqama will be available for selection, if not Sunday then definitely next week," Smith told reporters on Friday.

The Knights have more good news on the injury front, with representative star Steve Simpson (hamstring), Tonga international Cooper Vuna (knee) and Uate all due back in the next couple of weeks, while back-rower Cory Paterson (ankle) will take his place on the bench on Sunday.

"I think Steve Simpson will be a chance of playing for us next week but almost certainly against the Tigers (in two weeks)," Smith said.

"Cooper Vuna is looking good for the next couple of weeks.

"We'd like to think Aku (Uate) will be back again next weekend as well, so in the space of the next two weeks we could get four blokes back."

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