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Knights coach Adam O'Brien is refusing to concede the side's final chances are over with Mitchell Pearce, David Klemmer and Hymel Hunt set to return next week.

O'Brien expects to have the trio back and possibly Kalyn Ponga for their round 15 clash against the Warriors after they dropped their ninth game of the season on Saturday night.

Newcastle's heavy injury toll showed no signs of a respite during their 24-10 loss to Rabbitohs at Stadium Australia with Bradman Best limping from the field with an ankle injury.

"There's some help on its way but it is disappointing to potentially lose Bradman," O'Brien said.

"It's heartbreaking but we need to keep picking ourselves up. There's some short-term pain there but some guys, I've got to look at it another way.

"Dom Young is an international from England who has come out here and just played his second NRL game.

Young dives over for first NRL try

"They're all getting experience which helps our club long term but short term it's not fun going through this."

O'Brien said he was naturally excited by the prospect of watching Pearce and Ponga partner Jake Clifford and Jayden Brailey in the spine after a season decimated with injuries.

Clifford showed some nice touches in the Rabbitohs loss with Pearce's return timely after three months on the sidelines.

"I think he's handling it well," O'Brien said of Clifford.

Mann pounces after Rabbitohs fail to deal with Clifford kick

"There's obviously some pretty good experience coming back, especially if he gets the seven and one back.

"I saw Junior pass to Kalyn for the first time [in a year] last week. I don't think we've played with our spine together since round two last year.

"They looked good together and that's exciting. Not to put some pressure on those guys to come back and fix everything but they'll naturally help us find some points and take some pressure off our defence."

The Knights are languishing in 14th spot on the Telstra Premiership ladder after 14 games but O'Brien believes they can make a finals run in the final months of the season.

"We're not giving up on anything yet," he said.

"I thought we did a good job to keep ourselves in the game at half-time. There were some really positive signs.

"We were under pressure really early in the game but to get yourselves in a position where you could potentially do something in the second half.

"Their tries, I thought there were a few times we had to kick inside our 30 metres so got beaten up a little bit there coming out of our end.

"I'm disappointed in the early part of the second half but overall I'm happy with some of the efforts from some individuals."

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