Tired Storm ready for Roosters
Facing their second six-day turnaround in as many weeks, Melbourne have named their biggest squad of the year ahead of Saturday's clash with the Roosters.
Twenty-two players are currently listed in the Storm team as several first-grade regulars race the clock to be fit for Round 7.
Ben Hampton, Hymel Hunt and Kenneath Bromwich are all waiting in the wings for their first game of 2015 while Tom Learoyd-Lahrs is also on standby.
Melbourne recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season against the Raiders on Sunday but this week poses a much different proposition.
The Roosters will make the trip south with two days of extra recovery time up their sleeve, having played last Friday night against the Broncos.
"We've had two six day turnarounds and when you look at the two teams we've played… our opposition have had eight day turnarounds, it doesn’t sound like much but it's huge," Craig Bellamy said.
"Some of our players are probably tired and with the travel we've named a few extra players in case some of those guys don't come up.
"We can't prepare ourselves as well as we'd like to because we just can't get the time on the training paddock. We are just going to have to do the best we can."
With Cooper Cronk having taken some significant hits in recent weeks, Hampton is one emergency whose form line appears ready for the step up if required.
The 23-year-old has been a strong performer for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Cup but is yet to crack a game this season courtesy of Blake Green's solid partnership with Cronk.
Hampton's chance may not arrive just yet but the coach is adamant the promising halfback is well and truly knocking on the selection door.
"He's been great the last two or three weeks Benny, " Bellamy said.
"That's probably the one thing that has cost him a little bit in the past, his consistency. It is a strong competition in the Queensland Cup and he has done really well there.
"There are some guys playing up in the Queensland Cup who are playing really well and putting some pressure on our first-grade squad. That is part of being a good club, having those guys putting some pressure on."
After walking around in a sling last week Billy Slater performed running drills away from the main group.
Bellamy had ruled the champion fullback out of a shock return this weekend, however Slater was moving freely at training and he is set to test that four-week timeline he was initially ruled out for.
The Storm will host the Roosters this Saturday night at 7.30pm at AAMI Park.