Key playmaker set to return to playing much sooner than first feared.
Newcastle Knights coach Wayne Bennett got the best possible news on Jarrod Mullen’s hamstring injury, with initial reports he would miss up to six months being unfounded.
Mullen was one of a host of big-name injuries during the Auckland Nines pre-season tournament, and the worse-case scenario of him missing most most of the season was quickly dawning on Newcastle.
However, while the five-eighth while the prognosis is better than first feared, Mullen is still expected to be a spectator for up to three months in what is a massive early season blow to the Knights’ chances this year.
Knights high performance boss Jeremy Hickmans said Mullen has not pulled the hamstring off the bone, which would have resulted in him needing more time away from the game.
“The news was pretty positive for Jarrod considering the worst case scenario was a possible six month stint on the sideline,” Hickmans said.
“There is still a significant tear but it is not as bad as it might have been.
“With the scans, there was a lot of fluid which made it difficult to tell how serious it was.
“The fact he doesn’t need surgery means it’s not torn completely off the bone and the specialist believes there is still enough attached for him to successfully rehab the injury.
“Down the track, he will be better for not having to have the surgery as well.”
Any time Mullen will need to spend out of a Knights’ jersey will be tough to take for the team and their fans as the former NSW Blues provides spark and direction in attack and his kicking game can help turn the tide of a contest.
“I’d like to think Jarrod is a quick healer – he returned from a knee injury quicker than expected last season so we’ll see how he goes,’’ Hickmans said.