Penrith star Viliame Kikau insists he remains healthy despite re-aggravating a shoulder issue in Sunday’s disappointing NRL draw with Newcastle.
Kikau had a scare in Campbelltown when he fell awkwardly following an attempted second-half tackle that resulted in a concussion test.
The Fijian later returned to the game, but revealed on Wednesday that his main issue was a repeat of a serious stinger he wore in their season-opener.
“The body’s feeling good. I just had that stinger on the same shoulder that I did against the (Sydney) Roosters in round one,” Kikau said.
“I had my head in the wrong place there and had a stinger again. It wasn’t a concussion. They took me off for that. I passed my test.”
Asked whether the shoulder issue would have to be managed for an extended period of time, Kikau said: “No. It’s just a stinger.
“I did my scans after I did it in round one, there wasn’t anything it.
“It’s just all strapped up and ready to go.”
Kikau’s inclusion is a must for a Panthers side that struggled to create points against an undermanned Knights last week.
Penrith not only had a 55 per cent share in possession, but held a whopping 61-16 advantage in plays inside the opposition 20-metre zone.
But, without suspended star halfback Nathan Cleary, their attack was limited to 14 points, all of which were scored inside the opening 20 minutes.
Rookie playmaker Matt Burton also missed all five of his field goal attempts that would’ve won the contest, a situation the side has focused on this week.
“We do train and practise those crucial moments in the game. I told the coach I’ll be standing next to Burto, if Burto can’t kick,” Kikau said.
“I’ll be there as a third option.”
The towering second-rower was buoyed, however, by his new centre partner in Stephen Crichton, who made the first start of his career against Newcastle.
The 19-year-old has previously been compared to dual international Israel Folau because of his lanky frame and athletic ability.
“He’s a freak of a player, actually. I’m feeling good to be playing alongside him because he’s just got heaps of ability for a young player,” Kikau said.
“He’s got footwork in him and an offload as well. He’s definitely going to be a player to watch in the near future.”