“As soon as he’s realised on Sunday there could have been something to worry about, he self-reported himself to the club and they’ve passed that information on.
“He wasn’t out at a nightclub or anything. And had his mother gone to visit him, he would have been fine. He’s just got his wires crossed in terms of the protocols.
“Because Woy Woy was a [COVID] hot-spot when we first started, ‘Braddy’ had to move up to a house in Newcastle and away from family. And once he’s had a few days off, he thought it was a good chance to go and see his mum, so you can understand a young bloke wanting to do that.
“Braddy will live and learn from this. He’s a real credit to his family and important to our club.”
The NRL relaxed its COVID protocols over the weekend and allowed players to exit the ”bubble”, but they still required permission to visit the homes of loved ones.
Best, who has scored five tries in four NRL games this season, will have to pass a COVID test before rejoining his teammates on Monday.
O’Brien had the luxury of giving fellow centre Enari Tuala a quick spell from last Thursday’s blowout win over Brisbane. He will come straight back in for Saturday night’s clash against the Cowboys. Tautau Moga is another centre option who has been kept out by Best.
Depending on other results, the second-placed Knights could be the new competition leaders by the end of round seven. It has been their best start to a campaign since going 6-0 in 2002 as defending premiers.