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Back in business: Injury won't stop big Tui from return

Storm prop Tui Kamikamica has been struggling with a back injury but looks set to suit up for Saturday's showdown with Canberra.

Melbourne assistant coach Jason Ryles on Monday said the Fijian prop had been placed in cotton wool to ensure he would be right for the team's restart to the Telstra Premiership season.

"Tui has had a bit of an upset back for the last couple of days. He didn't train during the back part of last week, but he is going to be fine come tomorrow [Tuesday training], we are told.

"If he doesn't start he will certainly be in the 17.

"We will see how he presents, but there shouldn't be any reason why he wouldn't be in the 17 somewhere."

The battle for places in the Storm pack is intense with Kiwi international Brandon Smith (facial fracture) and Maroons prop Christian Welch (knee) available after missing the opening two rounds of the season.

Welch made his return from his latest serious knee problem in the Intrust Super Cup in March before that competition was cancelled and the NRL was forced into a hiatus.

Five key match-ups of the Storm's revised 2020 draw

"He is certainly in calculations," Ryles said. "He has come back in great shape and before his knee injury he was a part of the 17 last year.

"We weren't sure how they [the players] were going to present physically after the break because they have never had to have been in isolation before or had to train on their own before.

"One of the pleasing things was how professional they were in that break, not just the forwards but the whole group. They have come back in really good shape."

Bench forwards Max King and Tom Eisenhuth are the two players from the round-two side which edged out Cronulla likely to make way for the return of Smith and Welch.

Melbourne and Canberra each kicked off their 2020 campaigns with back-to-back wins - their clash on Saturday is one of three matches in round three featuring unbeaten teams.

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