Adam O’Brien says he has issues over Kalyn Ponga’s long-term future and may perceive why folks need his star participant to return to fullback, however the Knights coach says he’ll go away it to the medical specialists earlier than he feedback additional.
Ponga suffered his fourth concussion prior to now 10 months whereas making an attempt to make a sort out within the second minute of final week’s gritty win over the Wests Tigers.
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It’s the most recent in a string of head knocks that finally ended his 2022 season prematurely when the Knights determined to take a security first method with their most essential participant.
However Ponga himself broke his silence on Thursday, posting on Instagram with a loaded messages for his followers.
“Recognize all of the love and help over the previous couple of days,” Ponga wrote on Instagram.
“No matter can be, can be.
“Recognize you guys although, thanks xx.”
O’Brien mentioned Ponga and his household had been “in good spirits” and he wished to let Professor Chris Levi deal with it earlier than he made any calls on when his five-eighth would possibly return.
There was a push from a number of the main voices within the recreation to maneuver Ponga again to fullback for his personal security, however as O’Brien identified, this was his first concussion defending within the entrance line after a number of head knocks on the again final yr.
It’s why he’s resultant to make any positional selections proper now, though he was fast to reward the NRL for introducing a compulsory 11-day stand-down coverage for concussed gamers.
“I utterly perceive the place individuals are coming from. Finally, everybody desires Kalyn within the recreation, and everybody desires to deal with this man,” O’Brien replied when requested about shifting Ponga to fullback.
“He’s obtained a whole lot of life to steer but, in order that’s firstly. However there are a variety of conversations that can must be had, however we’re nowhere close to that time but.”
The Knights coach was additionally requested whether or not he feared for Ponga’s long-term well being after his newest head knock.
“After all, I’m a human being. I’m not simply speaking about his footy future,” he mentioned.
“It’s not an excellent look what you noticed on the weekend, however there are a variety of issues to be talked about. That’s his first one within the entrance line – the concussions he had final yr had been at fullback.
“It’s within the fingers of somebody that’s method smarter than me. Till we get to that, there’s no level commenting any additional.”
The Knights have been compelled into a number of main adjustments, with Jayden Brailey (concussion), Jacob Saifiti (suspension) and Tyson Frizell (foot) becoming a member of Ponga on the sidelines for Friday’s house recreation in opposition to the unbeaten Dolphins.
“I’m getting fairly used to it over the previous few years by way of lacking personnel,” O’Brien mentioned.