Hopeful ... Chris Houston, pictured, hopes to play against the Rabbitohs on Friday night. Photo: Getty Images
FORWARDS Chris Houston and Alex McKinnon are on track to take on South Sydney at Hunter Stadium on Friday night and become two of just three Knights to play every game this season.
Houston is confident of passing a CogSports test today, which he must do after he was knocked out in a head clash with Gavin Cooper in the 69th minute of Newcastle's 22-14 loss to the Cowboys at Dairy Farmers Stadium last Saturday night.
''It feels good. It was a bit sore after the game but I feel fine today,'' Houston said yesterday.
Though he did not recall the incident, Houston said he remembered the rest of the game and had shown no ill effects since Saturday night.
Provided Houston gets the all-cleary, he and McKinnon will join five-eighth Jarrod Mullen on Friday as the only three Knights to appear in every game this year. Houston and Mullen have started every game, while McKinnon has started nine and come off the bench in 14.
The NRL match review committee found McKinnon had no case to answer yesterday after the 20-year-old was reported for lashing out with his hand and striking Cowboys centre Kane Linnett.
''At the start of the year, I usually set some goals, and I set probably 10 games, I think I said, so to get a full season in, I'm pretty stoked with that,'' McKinnon said.
''I've got through a full season. I've had some good games, I've had some bad ones too, so it's just the ride. [Captain] Danny Buderus spoke at the start of the season and said it's a like a roller coaster, you have your good games and your bad games, and I'm just happy to be here and be with all the boys playing footy every week.''
McKinnon said he regretted taking a swipe at Linnett, a friend and former Dragons under-20s team-mate, but never meant any harm.
''It was an open-handed push. It was just a reaction, really,'' he said.
''I was just stuck in the tackle and he wouldn't let go, and his arm was kind of next to his head. It's not like I was trying to punch him in the head.
''I know him. I'm friends with Kane … We're good mates and I spoke to him after the game, so it was all good.''