Teenage Newcastle playmaker Phoenix Crossland will miss the trials and NRL Nines in February as he recovers from bone bruising on the hip. The five-eighth is expected to be back "very early" in the NRL season. Crossland had groin issues late last year and was struggling with the physical demands of pre-season when the bone bruising was found. "[It] is a significant injury which you have to take a really conservative approach with," Knights head of performance Balin Cupples said. "We've done that with Phoenix. He's come through the majority of that now, he's just getting back on the field."
Another Newcastle teen in centre Bradman Best should be fine to play in the trials despite being made to wear a moon boot after suffering a minor mid-foot sprain at training. Best, who played three NRL games last year, is set to start running again this week.
Mason Lino has been cleared to start full training after an off-season shoulder reconstruction and will be available for the trials.