Newcastle’s Gagai on mend after NRL scare

Newcastle star Dane Gagai will undergo further cardiology tests in the hope of playing against South Sydney on Saturday night, a week after being taken to hospital during the Knights’ win over Gold Coast due to an irregular heartbeat.

Coach Rick Stone said Queensland State of Origin representative Gagai was in good spirits at Newcastle’s team meeting on Wednesday ahead of the clash with the reigning NRL premiers at ANZ Stadium.

“He’s got a couple more tests today and tomorrow to decide whether he’s going to be a chance of pushing forward and playing this weekend,” said the Knights’ coach.

“His health is the most important thing at this point in time. We’ll go through the tests and, if we can get him running at some stage before Saturday, he might be a chance.

“But realistically, he’s probably looking at the following week.”

The 24-year-old sent a scare through the rugby league community when he was taken from Hunter Stadium at halftime of the Knights’ 30-2 victory over the Titans last Saturday.

Gagai went into the game with a virus and alerted medical staff he was feeling dizzy and weak during the first half before he was examined during the break.

He received a mild electric shock at John Hunter Hospital to return his heartbeat to sinus rhythm.

“It’s one outside the box that we don’t normally get and I suppose it can be quite confronting,” Stone said.

“He’s handled it pretty well. He looks healthy and looks pretty happy and comfortable with himself.”

The Knights could also face the Rabbitohs without Fijian winger Akuila Uate, who will have further scans on his knee later on Wednesday.

“He’s walking a little bit better today but, after seeing him where he was on crutches yesterday, he’s getting a bit more range,” Stone said.

“If he can’t be running freely by Friday, he won’t be playing.”

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