Wests Tigers will continue negotiating a two-year extension offer for Paul Momirovski as an ankle injury suffered at the NRL Nines casts further doubt over his proposed swap deal with Melbourne's Harry Grant.
The Tigers confirmed on Saturday that Momirovski suffered a sprained ankle on day one of the Nines in Perth, and faces a 2-3 week recovery after leaving HBF Park in a moon boot.
Given the NRL season starts in less than one month, Momirovski's relatively minor lay-off adds a further hurdle to plans for he and Grant to trade clubs for 2020 before returning to the Tigers and Storm respectively.
NRL.com understands that the Storm were seeking clarification around a salary cap interpretation that was behind the hold-up at NRL level prior to Momirovski's injury on Friday night.
In any case, Tigers coach Michael Maguire has stressed more than once to his young centre that he remains a part .of his long-term plans as both clubs await a definitive call on the player trade from the NRL.
Momirovski and Grant have been kept in limbo awaiting NRL approval for the swap, and have been prepared to swap cities for the past two weeks.
Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs
The Tigers and Momirovski have been committed to extending the 23-year-old throughout negotiations with Melbourne, with the two-year deal to keep him at the club until the end of 2022.
Grant is already signed up with the Storm for the next two seasons as well.
Mbye hopeful Momirovski injury is just a ‘scare’
While still hopeful of getting the swap deal done, the Tigers need clarity given it will dictate where skipper Moses Mbye plays.
Mbye has spent parts of the summer training at hooker, but if Grant were to arrive it would see the Melbourne rake join Josh Reynolds as options at No.9 and Mbye play out wide.
If Momirovski stays Mbye may yet find himself at dummy-half.