NRL’s Knights stumped on Mullen injury

Newcastle coach Rick Stone says the club is still trying to get a diagnosis on a toe injury to halfback Jarrod Mullen who is unlikely to play against the Wests Tigers in the NRL this week.

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Mullen was forced to withdraw from the City-Country fixture a fortnight ago and missed last week’s 30-10 defeat to Manly.

The 28-year-old saw specialists in Sydney on Monday but went to seek a second opinion in Newcastle on Tuesday in the hope of finding out the exact nature of the injury.

“We haven’t quite nailed an actual diagnosis for ‘Mullo’ and his big toe,” Stone said.

“There are a lot of bones in the foot there and we are trying to sort out exactly the diagnosis and then the procedure of his recovery.

“We might know a little bit more later this afternoon, but at this stage he’s going to be doubtful for this week, that’s for sure.”

After opening the season with four straight wins, the Knights have now lost five on the trot and will be desperate to get their chief playmaker back on the field.

Skipper Kurt Gidley deputised for Mullen last weekend, paving the way for promising youngster Sione Mata’utia to slot into fullback.

However Stone said he had a few more options to consider when the team host the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

“Jarrod’s one of our key playmakers and I think most teams are really dented if they lose their key playmakers,” he said.

“First of all we need to go through the process and see the diagnosis and then we will make some adjustments to suit if we need to.

“We have obviously got some options. Young Jake (Mamo) played well in reserve grade as a fullback.

“Carlos Tuimavave played in the Samoan Test a couple of weeks ago as five-eighth and they are some genuine options for us there.”