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Life's a beach: Danny Buderus is due to play his 250th game for Newcastle this weekend. They will travel to Cronulla to face the Sharks. Photo: Dean Osland

Danny Buderus spoke for 10 minutes on Wednesday, but one brief sentence best encapsulated his attitude: ''It's not finished yet.''

Buderus was not just talking about his illustrious rugby league career, which will reach a unique milestone on Saturday night.

He was also clearly referring to the Knights' season, which hangs in the balance as they prepare for Saturday night's clash with Cronulla at Remondis Stadium.

The game will be an historic occasion because Buderus will become the first Knights player to rack up 250 first-grade appearances, surpassing Immortal Andrew Johns' career tally of 249. But if you gave the 35-year-old former NSW and Australian skipper a choice between an individual record and two competition points the Knights desperately need, it is unlikely he would agonise over a decision.

Since his debut game, against the now-defunct South Queensland Crushers way back on March 23, 1997, Buderus has been the ultimate team man.

Nothing comes before the collective cause. ''It [the record] is one of those things I'll look back on after the year is finished and think about things like that,'' Buderus said on Wednesday.

''But at the moment, I'm just proud to be part of the club and the team and where we're trying to head - and that's in the semi-finals.

''When I retire, I'll think about those things a bit more.''

That is not to say Buderus is unemotional about his landmark. Given what he has endured to get there - in particular two bouts of spinal surgery this season - he is entitled to a sense of self-satisfaction. A lesser man would have hung up the boots, but Buderus refused to abandon his dream of finishing on his own terms.

''At the start of this year, when they asked me to play on, I thought that would be a great achievement, to play 250,'' he said.

''Joey was 249, but to play 250 - let alone to break the record - that's a good achievement. So that was a goal of mine, but [after] two serious back ops I thought I'd never get here … I didn't think I'd play again at times.''

Yet just last week Johns spent a night at Buderus' house and the subject did not even rate a mention. Five years ago, when he waved farewell to the Novocastrian faithful with one arm in a sling, Buderus assumed his 220th game in the red and blue had been his last.

He flew out for Leeds Rhinos content with what he had achieved: 24 Tests, 21 Origins and a starring role in Newcastle's 2001 premiership triumph.

A couple of years in Super League was likely to see him out.

Buderus admitted that if not for his rejuvenating stint at Leeds, he would probably already be an ex-player. But with a Super League championship under his belt, the dummy-half dynamo returned to the Knights last season and belied his birth certificate by playing in 22 games, making more tackles (812) than any player except Chris Houston.

This season the NRL's oldest player has done it tough, spending as many hours visiting the physio and medical experts as he has on the training pitch.

But of the seven games he has played this year, the Knights have won five and drawn one.