Newcastle’s bright start to the NRL season has quickly been grounded, with crafty hooker Isaac De Gois undergoing surgery for a broken thumb. As the worst fears for star recruit Neville Costigan were also confirmed, De Gois went under the knife on Monday afternoon and could miss a month of football. The Knights shot to an early season first place on the ladder with Sunday’s resounding 42-8 win over Penrith but now head to Townsville to play North Queensland without De Gois, Costigan and possibly captain Kurt Gidley. Coach Rick Stone had been hopeful De Gois had jarred the thumb at Centrebet Stadium. “He’s got a fracture at the base of his thumb which is going to keep him out for three to four weeks,” Stone told AAP. Costigan, a premiership winner with St George Illawarra last year, will miss 3-4 months. “He’s really disappointed, Nev, he had a big pre-season, first game for the club,” Stone said. “He leads a lot with his actions and he had brought a bit of that toughness to us.” The club says Gidley is some chance of overcoming back spasms in time for Saturday’s match. “We haven’t got the report back but our doctor Neil Halpin has had a look at the scans and basically he’s all but ruled out any major injury,” Stone said. “Kurt’s still a bit stiff and sore at the moment and … it all depends on how his back and body loosens up over the next couple of days. “He’s had a similar injury around Origin last year and still got away with playing inside a week so probably at least it’s something he’s a little bit understanding of.”