Outstanding young Knights centre Bradman Best's season will go on the line today when he meets with a surgeon in Sydney.
The powerhouse 18-year-old is facing the prospect of a second operation this year, this time to repair a syndesmosis in his ankle that could see him miss the bulk of the Knights remaining games.
Knights coach Adam O'Brien says Best is too valuable a player to be taking risks with and will be guided by the specialist.
"I'm playing the long game with Bradie," O'Brien said.
"He's going down to the surgeon tomorrow for him to have a look at it. I think they've delayed making a call on it until he has seen it properly. I wouldn't say that his season is completely done but with Bradie, he's a young guy and it's not like just taking him to the panel-beating shop to get him back in the race. He's a 15-year player for us so it's not the right thing to do by him. "
It's not like just taking him to the panel-beating shop to get him back in the race.Adam O'Brien
Best showed his toughness by insisting his ankle be strapped so he could stay on the field for the second half against Melbourne.
"He's a tough kid. "They assured us he couldn't have done anymore damage because once the tightrope was broken, it was broken and it was then about his ability to play through it," O'Brien said.
"In hindsight, it probably wasn't the best look leaving him out there but with so much chaos going on and with our only doctor attending to the two crook head knock guys in the shed, that was the decision that was made."
As expected, the loss of Best did not save his centre partner Tautau Moga from the axe for Saturday's clash against Wests Tigers.
Moga paid the price for poor defence, letting in two tries against the Storm with Gehamat Shibasaki and Enari Tuala the new centre pairing. The pair played there when the Knights beat the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval earlier in the season.
With Tuala's shift to the centres, young winger Starford To'a, who debuted for the club in the final game of the season in 2019, will make his first appearance this season.
New signing Blake Green comes straight into the side in the halves alongside Mitchell Pearce with Kurt Mann shifting to the hooking role. Ironically, Green will be playing against the Tigers for the second consecutive week after leading the Warriors to a win over them last weekend. His short and long kicking game will no doubt alleviate some of the pressure that's been on Pearce.
Brodie Jones has been named to return from injury on the bench, replacing the suspended Pasami Saulo but don't rule out Tex Hoy returning to the 17 alongside Phoenix Crossland, Josh King and Herman Ese'ese.
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