NRL restrictions end Knight's season

Pamela Whaley
Jayden Brailey's 2020 NRL season is over

Newcastle skipper Mitchell Pearce is confident the Knights can develop a new combination in limited time to cover the loss of hooker Jayden Brailey, whose NRL season is over.

The 24-year-old suffered an ACL injury in his second game for the Knights in round two and underwent a surgical repair in March, which left him facing up to nine months on the sidelines.

It was originally believed he had been left out of the Knights' 32-man squad, but the club will begin training on Wednesday with an active list of 31 players, with Brailey able to return as an 'inactive' player.

Pearce said the team may need to adapt to a new playing style without him.

"Brails is obviously a huge loss, he was our best player in the first two games," Pearce said on Tuesday.

"For me as a halfback I found a really good combination with Jayden and it was building nicely so firstly it's horrible news for him.

"He's training his backside off to recover as quick as he can but footy is bigger than a one-man game and we'd like to think we've got some systems implemented there."

Knights' general manager of football Danny Buderus told AAP Brailey is now able to resume full rehabilitation with the club and will be around training with his teammates.

Back-rower Mitch Barnett was also expected to spend three months on the sidelines after picking up a nerve injury in his neck in round two and undergoing surgery.

However, as he is closer to a return to play, the Knights were able to include him in the squad as an active player.

The Knights could now look to the market to replace Brailey in the No.9 jersey after the NRL cleared clubs to negotiate and register contracts.

However, Kurt Mann and Connor Watson have both spent time at hooker and are expected to be considered for the job by coach Adam O'Brien.