Kai Pearce-Paul could miss the start of the 2024 NRL season after his new club Newcastle Knights confirmed he would undergo surgery this week.
The England international will have surgery on a toe injury this week which will limit his pre-season training schedule, and possibly keep him out of the start of the 2024 campaign.
Pearce-Paul made the move to the NRL on a two-year deal with the Knights from Super League champions Wigan Warriors, with whom he helped win the Grand Final last month.
Newcastle have given an approximate timeframe for the towering back-rower’s return to play, with the ‘goal being in the early rounds’ of the 2024 season.
Newcastle Knights confirm new recruit Kai Pearce-Paul to undergo surgery this week
A club statement from the Knights read: “Pearce-Paul has been managing this injury for over 12 months at his previous club.
“Upon reviews conducted by the Knights medical and performance team, it was decided surgery was the best course of action to provide long term health and performance outcomes.
“The Knights forward will commence his return to play program, with the goal being selection in the early rounds of the 2024 National Rugby League season.
“Pearce-Paul is due to commence official training and club commitments on Thursday, 23 November.”
The towering back-rower has linked up with the Knights alongside fellow Englishman Will Pryce, who has arrived from Huddersfield Giants.
Pearce-Paul, who played for England in last year’s World Cup, wrapped up his time with Wigan Warriors in style, finishing up as a Super League champion thanks to a 10-2 win over Catalans Dragons in the Grand Final at Old Trafford in October.
The 22-year-old spent four seasons with the Warriors between 2020 and 2023 after arriving from London Broncos, making 61 appearances in total for the Cherry and Whites.