Former Broncos teammate Patrick Carrigan is wary of the instant impact Anthony Milford can have for the Knights ahead of a potential showdown between the two clubs on Thursday night.
Milford has been cleared to resume his NRL career against his former club at McDonald Jones Stadium after having assault charges dropped in April.
Having played 151 games for the Broncos since joining the club in 2015, Milford hasn't played a game since September but joined the Knights five weeks ago to begin a mini pre-season training block as part of his return to the game.
Carrigan admitted coming up against Milford, who is considers a close friend, was going to be a “weird” prospect.
"I'll say that but I'm super excited that he is back in the game,” Carrigan told NRL.com.
“He's a good mate of mine and he's worked really hard to stay in shape. He's a classy player too so he'll be up for it but I'm keen to get one up on him.
"Everyone knows what Anthony Milford can do when he is on. You can talk about it all week but stopping it is another thing. We have seen his tricks at training and we know what to expect.”
Newcastle captain Kalyn Ponga believes Milford can add value to side immediately as coach Adam O’Brien ponders whether to start the playmaker or bring him off the bench.
Milford’s fitness levels have often been questioned throughout his career but O’Brien was adamant there were no concerns ahead of his return.
“I think every time he’s turned around [at training] there’s one of the physical performance staff standing in front of him,” O’Brien said.
“He’s bought in a hell of a lot. His attitude is unreal.”
Ponga noted Milford had come out his shell in recent weeks as he grows more confident in the Newcastle environment after his mid-season switch.
“I’ve asked him a few questions over the last couple of weeks just more for his help and experience,” Ponga said.
“He’s been through the highs and lows of footy, played in the top level, played in grand finals. He doesn’t say too much but did say footy is an easy game, just kick to the corners.
Knights: Round 10
“It will be exciting to play with him. He’s a classy player and we’ve all seen him at his best.
“We want him to come here and enjoy his footy. He probably hasn’t enjoyed the last five weeks where he’s been working hard but he’s keen to get out there and play.”
Match: Knights v Broncos
Round 11 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle