Slater ruled out of Bulldogs clash with shoulder injury
The Melbourne Storm will be without star fullback Billy Slater for this week's opening match of the season against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Perth.
The Storm fullback suffered soreness in his right shoulder after a training run on Friday and decided to adopt a conservative approach with his injury.
Slater jarred his shoulder against Leeds three weeks and missed Melbourne's warm-up clash against the Cowboys a week later. He was set to play his 300th NRL game on the weekend but the milestone will have to wait.
"Billy trained very well on Friday, however has pulled up a little sore since the session. Billy and the medical staff have decided to take the cautious approach and therefore he won't play this Saturday," Storm football director Frank Ponissi said.
"Scans have shown no structural damage, so we don't expect Billy to be sidelined for long."
Jahrome Hughes is out with injury but the Storm could play Young Tonumaipea, Cam Munster or uncapped youngster Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback.