Gidley on course for season opener

James Gordon

Newcastle captain Kurt Gidley is confident of being ready for the start of the new NRL season after having surgery on his knee in the close season.

Gidley, 29, ruled himself out of the Four Nations to get his knee sorted, and remains with the rehab group as the Knights returned to pre-season training following the Christmas break.

He told the club’s official website: “I started a little bit of running before Christmas and I have been able to run this week.

“My knee feels really good, a lot better than last year.

“I will be ready for the start of the season and that was the whole reason for pulling out of the Four Nations, to get my knee right and I am happy I did that now.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle have confirmed that they will face Penrith (February 11, Port Macquarie) and Cronulla (February 18, Muswellbrook) in their trial games, before they host St George-Illawarra Dragons in their NRL opener on March 1st.