Brailey running again but won’t return for Knights

Newcastle hooker Jayden Brailey is back running again, almost five months after suffering an ACL knee injury, but he won’t return this season to help the Knights qualify for their first finals series in seven years.

Brailey’s brother, Cronulla No.9 Blayke Brailey, confirmed his sibling was making encouraging progress after hurting his right knee against the Wests Tigers back in round 2.

Blayke revealed Jayden had been sending him videos of himself running as continues to make giant strides forward in his recovery.

Despite this positive progress, Newcastle officials aren’t expecting Brailey to play again in 2020.

He is yet to progress beyond straight-line running and the club wants to take a cautious approach.

Regardless, Brailey’s younger sibling couldn’t be happier to see his brother back on the right path.

“Jayden is going really well and recovering,” Blayke said.

“I think that (finals) is in the back of his mind, but he doesn’t want to rush back too quickly and hurt himself again.

“His recovery process has been really fast. He is sending me videos of him running already, which is pretty incredible.

“He is working hard. He is the sort of person that will do whatever he can to come back as quickly as he can.

“He is in good spirits, and it is good to see him recovering well.”

Hooker Blayke Brailey has been a standout for Cronulla this season. Picture: AAP Image/Brendon ThorneSource:AAP

We won’t see Jayden Brailey again this season, but Blayke is expected to feature prominently for Cronulla.

He will equal his total games played last season (15) when the Sharks take on competition leaders Penrith on Friday night.

Jayden has made Cronulla’s No.9 jumper his own this season with three tries and five try assists in his 14 appearances.

“I enjoy playing the full 80 minutes, and I’m really grateful to be playing that role at the moment,” he said.

“It has been good to get a bit more confidence each week, but I’m still not happy with areas of my game and I’m looking to improve.”

Blayke and his Sharks will receive the ultimate challenge this week against a Panthers side that smashed them in round 9 and will be shooting for 10 straight wins.

“Everyone is really excited,” he said about playing Penrith.

“We had an opportunity the first time we played them to really change our season and define ourselves as a team, and we let that opportunity slip through our fingers.

“We will be working hard at training this week to put in a good performance.”

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