Kennedy could make a
surprise return

Ben Kennedy could make an early return for Newcastle this weekend despite being left out of the squad for Saturday's National Rugby League game against Melbourne at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Kennedy has been sidelined with a hand injury since the opening round win over the New Zealand Warriors. He's not in the 17-man squad but coach Michael Hagan says he'll make a final decision later in the week, probably Friday.

The Knights will have winger Timana Tahu and former New South Wales fullback Mark Hughes back on deck for the game against the equal competition leaders.