Luckless Newcastle utility Connor Watson is confident of re-signing with the NRL club despite having his injury-marred season ended early by a torn achilles tendon.
A week after coming back from a six-week layoff due to an ankle injury, Watson initially thought he had been tripped when went down with the injury against Canterbury on Sunday.
“I was at marker and I went to go kick pressure. And as I took off, (Bulldogs forward) Luke Thompson was playing the ball, I thought he tripped me over,” Watson said on Monday.
“I looked back and realised he was nowhere near me.”
The 24-year-old will meet with surgeons in Sydney on Tuesday before undergoing an operation and beginning an expected five-month recovery.
A crushed Watson tried to remain upbeat about his latest setback.
“It’s part of the game, unfortunately. There’s so many guys who’ve been worse off than I have,” said Watson, speaking at the art reveal of a Boots for Brighter Futures initiative.
“At the end of the day other than this I’m still healthy, I’m still moving around. I’ve got plenty to be grateful for.”
Off-contract at the end of the season, Watson revealed he’d spoken with his manager and coach Adam O’Brien on Sunday about a possible extension.
Asked whether he was worried about his long-term future, Watson said: “A little bit. I had a chat with Adsy and my manager yesterday so they’re working that out.
“Obviously that thought is there, but it’ll all work out. I don’t think their position will change on them wanting to keep me.
“I don’t want to leave. I feel like we’re building something special here.
“I don’t really want to go anywhere else for the moment.”
Watson’s injury came just minutes after veteran rake Andrew McCullough also suffered a season-ending hamstring injury, tearing the muscle off the bone.
It also comes after first-choice No.9 Jayden Brailey tore his ACL in March.
The hooking crisis has left Knights coach Adam O’Brien with just two dummy-halves to pick from for this week’s clash against Melbourne.
Rookie Chris Randall made his debut in round three, while 21-year-old Luke Huth has yet to be given a taste of first grade.
“I certainly think that if Randy or Huthy are called up, they’ll be able to do the job and do it well. Randy had 70 tackles on debut,” Watson said.
“I know it’s going to be tough if we rely just on those two because they’re two inexperienced blokes.”