Knights prop Jacob Saifiti is in hospital with a serious leg injury that could sideline him for more than three months following an altercation with the brother of Kangaroos and NSW captain Boyd Cordner outside a Newcastle hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Police are understood to be investigating the incident involving Saifiti and Central Newcastle footballer Dane Cordner which occurred outside Hamilton’s Greenroof Hotel.
Saifiti was knocked cold by a punch during the incident and suffered a suspected fractured lower leg after falling awkwardly.
He was taken to hospital and was facing surgery that will determine how long he will be sidelined.
Knights officials are aware of the incident but could not be contacted on Sunday.
The Newcastle Herald has been told a large number of Knights players had been out on Saturday attending a farewell for former team-mate Luke Yates before he leaves to take up a contract with English Super League club London Broncos.
They were all at the Commonwealth Hotel at Cooks Hill earlier in the day before moving onto the Delany Hotel where a number of Central players were also out celebrating the engagement of former team-mate Jake Finn.
Players from both teams mingled without incident.
It’s understood there was no drama until much later after the players from both camps decided to kick on at the Greenroof.
Witnesses claim Cordner and Saifiti were involved in a push and shove in the hotel and were escorted out by security before a punch was thrown that KO’d Saifiti around 1.30 am.
It’s believed the police were not called initially but have since been made aware of the incident and are investigating and are likely to view any available CCTV footage.
Saifiti had been on the comeback trail after two bouts of shoulder surgery restricted him to just eight games last season.
After initial surgery to stabilise the damaged joint, he needed a secondary operation in the off-season to repair a stretched nerve.
Six months after he was injured, the 22-year-old was on the road to recovery and was confident he would have been fit and available for Newcastle’s opening trial match against St George Illawarra in early February.
This latest incident has left his immediate future under a cloud.
While you’re with us, did you know The Herald is now offering breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up-to-date with all the local news - sign up here.