NEWCASTLE utility forward Luke Yates thought his season was over when the club’s trainer told him he had broken his collarbone in round 16 against St George Illawarra.
It was later found to be a ruptured AC-joint but ironically the severity of the injury has allowed him to play on.
He returned against the Bulldogs last Sunday, coming off the bench for a 13-minute stint.
“It’s good, it healed up pretty solid,” Yates said on Wednesday.
“I got it needled last week [against the Bulldogs] but I think I’ll be able to play without a needle this week.
“I was thinking I was probably done for the season.”
I was thinking I was probably done for the season.LUKE YATES
Yates said he will not need to undergo surgey unless the injury continues to cause him grief and hopes to play out the reast of the year pain-free.
“Because it’s a grade-three tear, it’s completely gone, so I don’t really get any pain through it,” he said.
“If it was a grade one or two I would get a lot more pain because the ligaments are still intact.
“Because it’s completely gone, I’ve just got to get it stable around the area and then I’m good to go.”
Last month, Nathan Brown revealed Yates had been training at hooker in an effort to extend his versatility within the side.
A West Newcastle junior, Yates has made 14 NRL appearances for the Knights this year, following on from a strong season in 2016, in which he picked up the club’s reserve-grade player of the year award.
He is one of a number of young players in the side continuing to gain consistent first-grade experience and is still yet be resigned for next season.
The 22-year-old said he was looking forward to taking on his childhood mate, fellow Lambton High and Hunter Sports High student Tevita Pangai Junior, who will come off the bench for the Broncos.