Rep round fallout hits Melbourne Storm hard
Melbourne Storm are reeling from a torrid representative round, with doubts over the availability of Felise Kaufusi, Cameron Munster, Josh Addo-Carr and Nelson Asofa-Solomona heading into their crucial clash with the Roosters in Adelaide.
Kaufusi, Munster and Addo-Carr are suffering ankle issues after going hell for leather in Origin II at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy confirmed prop Sam Kasiano would miss 8-10 weeks after picking up a PCL injury while playing for Samoa, joining first-choice forwards Jesse Bromwich and Dale Finucane on the sidelines.
And to top it off, Nelson Asofa-Solomona hasn't returned, as of late Tuesday afternoon AEST, from the United States after the representing the Kiwis in Denver.
It's left Bellamy frustrated over the timing of the England-New Zealand Test as he prepares for the clash with an in-form Roosters side which has won six of its last seven matches.
"I don't know what the hell's going on to be quite honest," he said of Asofa-Solomona's whereabouts.
"He's still not back and I don't know when he's going to be back. Whether he's back from the game our not - I don't know. I'm not sure why they had this Test at this time of year. It's not my decision but it's not ideal to have guys playing over there, so far away, in heat and humidity, and then be late back for our game."
Bellamy confirmed he would give his Origin players until the captain's run to decide if they play.
"There's a couple of problems with ankles - nothing major," he said.
"Fus (Kaufusi), Munster, Josh as well. Will (Chambers) should be OK. But we'll check them out.
"It's not a long time to recover. I spoke to Josh this morning when he came in and he said it was probably the quickest game of footy he's ever played in. It's going to take a little bit of recovering from that."
The Storm will also take a wait-and-see approach for star fullback Billy Slater, who got through a full game for the Maroons on Sunday night in his return from a hamstring injury.
"He pulled up OK," Bellamy said.
"We've been on the conservative side with him - we'll stay with that this week if we have to. But if he thinks he can play and get through the 80 minutes, we will play him."
Bellamy will coach against Cooper Cronk - a long-time Storm representative - for the first time at NRL level on Friday.
"We've got a bit of plan on how we want to handle him, and how we handle his strengths," he said.
"Hopefully we can put that plan into action. He might have something in store for us too I imagine."