• Penrith captain Matt Moylan is one of three players dropped for breaching the NRL team's protocol. (AAP)
Penrith captain Matt Moylan missed training on Tuesday, but is expected to be fit for Friday evening's NRL clash with Newcastle at Pepper Stadium
Source:
AAP
21 Mar 2017 - 3:54 PM  UPDATED 21 Mar 2017 - 3:54 PM

Penrith captain Matt Moylan is expected to be declared fit for Friday evening's NRL clash with Newcastle, despite missing Panthers training on Tuesday morning.

And in another major boost for the Panthers, Bryce Cartwright is expected to join him after returning to the paddock on Tuesday for the first time since he injured his ankle.

Moylan is believed to have been nursing a number of minor injuries out of Saturday's 14-12 loss to the Sydney Roosters, prompting fears he could be missing from Friday's clash.

His work-rate in kick returns has increased dramatically this season for Penrith off the back of the injury to Josh Mansour, and his body is feeling it.

However Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary was quick to dismiss such concerns, insisting his skipper would be fit for the Pepper Stadium showdown.

"I think he's just a bit bruised from the weekend," Cleary said.

"He'll be sweet for Friday."

The availability of the pair is likely to force coach Anthony Griffin's hand at the back, given centre Peta Hiku started on the bench on Saturday night before replacing Tyrone Peachey in the centres.

Peachey was then moved into the second row, but with Cartwright back that may not remain an option.

Hiku began the season on the wing, but fractured his eye-socket in the club's opening-round loss to St George Illawarra.

It was a tough break for the 24-year-old, given he missed most of last season after suffering a serious knee injury in May.

And the Kiwi international is now under no illusions as to how tough it could be to work his way back into the side again.

"The boys had a good back-end of the season," he said.

"Dallin (Watene-Zelezniak) played good and played Kiwis at the back-end of the year.

"The boys have all picked up their games and it's something I've got to get onto before I get into the starting team."

Meanwhile injured winger Josh Mansour's recovery from a knee surgery remains on track, with the Australian representative allowed more movement in training this week ahead of his anticipated mid-season return.