Shoulder injury to sideline Slater again
Craig Bellamy says Billy Slater is disappointed and frustrated after scans revealed the star fullback will undergo a procedure this week to determine the extent of his shoulder injury.
It's the same shoulder that bothered Slater for the majority of last season, although Bellamy said the Storm weren't certain of the extent opf the damage this time around.
"We knew yesterday he was going in for a medical procedure some time this week, but at this stage until they go in and have a look we haven't got any idea at all," Bellamy said.
"He pulled up a little bit sore from last week's game, he didn't train all week, and we were sort of hopefully that he would come good, but there's something just not quite right, and hopefully what happens this week will tell us what that is.
"He's pretty optimistic, he's going to wait and see what they find, but he's obviously very disappointed and fairly frustrated. We're all really disappointed for him, but we just have to see what happens this week."
Storm skipper Cameron Smith echoed Bellamy's sentiments on Slater's injury, and said the whole playing group is behind him and hoping for a speedy recovery.
"I said to [Billy] before we ran out for Round 1 that I was just really glad that he was back and I was looking forward to him having a big year," Smith said.
"And I guess I'm just disappointed like him, that the surgery and the work that he's put in over the past nine months hasn't quite gone right, and now he'll have to go back in and have a look at what's going on.
"We're all very disappointed that he has to go back in, but we're all quite hopeful that it'll be something minor, and he'll be back in a couple of weeks ready to play for us."
The Storm were able to deal with Slater's absence quite comfortably in the end, but did trail for a period in the first half before two tries in three minutes from Blake Green and Will Chambers right before half-time swung the match back in the favour of the home side.
A huge 40/20 from Smith led to the second of those two tries, and Bellamy said the kick was probably the turning point of the match.
"Cameron's 40/20 was a huge play in the game, and that probably gave us a bit of momentum and a little bit of confidence, and sapped a bit out of them I'd imagine," Bellamy said.
Australian Schoolboys representative Curtis Scott came into the side for Slater for his NRL debut at just 18 years of age, and Bellamy was impressed by the way the youngster handled the occasion.
"I thought he had some really good moments, he had a couple of tentative moments too which is not like him, but having said that he's an 18-year-old playing his first first grade game, so you probably expect that," Bellamy said.
"It was always going to be pretty tough for him, throwing him into the first grade, this time last year he was in school. I thought he did a really good job, and I think the longer the game went the more comfortable he became, and hopefully that'll continue."