Injury Update: May 11
With 11 players involved in the representative round of matches it would have been a long weekend in more ways than one for Sharks coach Shane Flanagan.
While the players remaining at Sharks headquarters were given an extra day or two off training to rest up and refresh, Flanagan would have been casting a nervous eye over those competing in the various rep teams.
Fortunately he was able to breathe a little bit easier again on Monday when Paul Gallen and Gerard Beale returned from the Trans Tasman Test, joined by the five who took part in the Pacific Tests, all with no injury concerns.
Then when Chad Townsend, Jack Bird and James Maloney reported for training on Tuesday after the City-Country clash in Tamworth and were given a clean bill of health by Sharks medical staff, Flanagan was able to immediately turn his attention to this weekend and the Newcastle Knights with a full contingent of players to choose from.
At the present time Mitch Brown is the only player from the 29 full-time contracted NRL squad, other than Jayson Bukuya who has been suspended for one week, not to feature on the team lists of either the Sharks or the Newtown Jets for their round 10 matches due to injury.
Brown has a minor knee problem and while he has been running and was involved in some of the team training and ball work activities early this week, his return to action is still not likely to take place this weekend.
For the NRL match in Newcastle on Sunday the Sharks have named an 18-man team, with Joseph Paulo and David Fifita added to an extended bench to cover for Bukuya. Both are likely to travel to Newcastle, with one to be kept on stand-by should any pre-game mishaps occur.