Smith confident about injured Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith confident about injured Knights

By David Beniuk 07/04/2008 04:50:39 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle coach Brian Smith expects injured trio Danny Buderus, Jarrod Mullen and Scott Dureau to all play in Sunday's litmus test against Brisbane at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Knights limped home from Auckland on Monday after their 26-20 loss to the New Zealand Warriors with Mullen booked in for scans on his calf and Dureau an X-ray on his ribs; skipper Buderus played through the Mt Smart Stadium match with a badly corked thigh.

"They'll all be okay," Smith told AAP.

"Mullen would be the major concern of the three but we'll see how he goes. He's gone for scans. Scott Dureau's gone for an X-ray. They're all a lot better.

"I wasn't real worried about it in the first place. We'll soon find out anyway whether it's anything to worry about or not but I'm not worried at this stage."

The worst case scenario for the Knights would be the loss of both halves, Dureau and Mullen, in what would be a cruel blow to the rebuilding Novocastrians in a blockbuster at home.

Regardless, Newcastle will be boosted by a likely first appearance from ex-Melbourne premiership-winning prop Ben Cross, who injured his wrist in the pre-season.

Smith said Cross had been involved in "everything" - including full contact work - at Knights training.

"He's been cleared by the specialist so we'd be hopeful he'll get through this week's training and he'll be a participant," Smith said.

"Everyone's keen for Crossy to add his attributes to our team, he's been an effective member of our team even though he's not been able to play."

Elsewhere, Sydney Roosters star Willie Mason will be monitored this week but is expected to line up at Penrith on Saturday after suffering a minor medial ligament strain in last Friday's win over the Bulldogs.

Dogs fullback Luke Patten received good news on his shoulder injury on Monday and is a likely starter against the New Zealand Warriors on Sunday.

Manly prop Josh Perry will know Tuesday the results of scans on a hip injury ahead of Friday's grand final rematch against Melbourne.

South Sydney medical staff are more concerned about Michael Greenfield's ankle than knee problems after the prop experienced swelling at Monday morning's recovery session and was sent for an MRI scan.

And Gold Coast winger Jordan Atkins will also learn the extent of his posterior cruciate ligament injury after scans on Monday.

The Titans tryscoring machine is expected to be sidelined for four to eight weeks.

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