Hughes back for Knights

Newcastle coach Michael Hagan is expected to name centre Mark Hughes on the bench today for his side's NRL clash with Melbourne at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

Hughes hasn't played first grade football since suffering a serious knee injury in August last year when Cronulla smashed the Knights 64-14 at Toyota Park - the biggest loss in the club's history.

The 26-year-old says he expects it'll take a while to regain his confidence and timing after making a comeback in a Premier League game on the weekend.

Hughes says his experience will be needed against the Storm because the Knights are reeling from injuries to several key players.