Newcastle prop David Klemmer is almost certain to be available for Origin lll and is even considered an outside chance of playing for the Knights against Brisbane in just 17 days time despite fracturing his wrist against Queensland in Origin l.
Klemmer missed the Knights' win over South Sydney last Friday night and won't play against Melbourne on Saturday or the Maroons in Perth on Sunday week after being ruled out for between four to six weeks.
It was initially thought the injury would sideline him for the rest of the Origin series.
But Knights high performance boss Balin Cupples told the Newcastle Herald Klemmer will highly likely be fit for Origin lll on July 10 and refused to completely rule out getting him back on deck to play against the Broncos as early as June 29 in Newcastle.
The Knights have another bye after the Storm game which would mean Klemmer potentially missing only two club games if everything goes right with his recovery.
His hand will be in a splint until three or four days because the Broncos game when he will have further scans to determine when he will return.
"It was a non-displaced fracture in his hand so that just needs time to heal which is generally three to four weeks and then it will depend on his pain tolerance once he comes out of the splint, how quickly he can grab and get his grip back and build his strength back up," Cupples said.
Asked if he was any chance of playing against the Broncos, Cupples said: "It's not out of the question but I'd suggest that would be right on the window.
"Klem is obviously a highly motivated individual and will do anything to get back on the field but that Broncos game might be pushing it. But I definitely think he would be ready the week after."
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The Knights take on the Warriors at home on that weekend but if selected for Origin lll, Klemmer would have to sit out the game.
"Whether the Blues want to consider him without playing footy or if he gets some minutes against the Broncos will depend on how things are in two and a half weeks when he comes out of the splint," Cupples said.
"There'll be follow-up scans around that time and if there is no fracture then it becomes a physio or functional-led decision based on pain or if there is still a [fracture] line there, it could be an extra week."
Meanwhile, veteran forward Aidan Guerra is three weeks ahead of schedule in his return from a sickening dislocated fracture of his ankle and could play against Brisbane if selected.
Guerra was named on an extended bench for the Storm clash but is at least another week away.
Fullback Kalyn Ponga returns to the side to take on Melbourne after being rested against Souths while Kurt Mann returns to five-eighth in place of Mason Lino after deputising at the back for Ponga at ANZ Stadium.