Simpson out six weeks, in doubt for

Newcastle's State of Origin second rower Steve Simpson is undergoing surgery for a groin injury today and has been ruled out of National Rugby League action for six weeks.

Simpson has been named in coach Phil Gould's 30-man preliminary New South Wales squad for this year's Origin series, but the injury puts him in doubt for selection. He is scheduled to return for the Knights' round 11 National Rugby League match against Cronulla at Energy Australia Stadium in late May. The first Origin match is on June 11.

The loss of Simpson is a blow to the already injury-riddled Knights ahead of Friday night's big home clash against the Bulldogs.