A knee injury to Harry Grant has soured Melbourne Storm's 30-10 pre-season triumph over the Knights at Albury Sports Ground on Saturday evening.
Grant limped off early in the second half of the Storm's impressive showing and was seen sporting a knee brace in the sheds following the match.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy revealed Grant has suffered a medial ligament injury and was likely to be sidelined for up to a month, with scans on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.
"He has done a medial and I doubt he is going to be ready for round one," Bellamy said after the match.
"I am not quite sure, but he's probably going to be out for three to four weeks.
"We will scan him and we will see how he progresses in the next 10 days."
Returning from a season on loan with the Tigers, Grant had been earmarked to take over at dummy half from former skipper Cameron Smith and had looked assured in the No.9 jersey left vacated by the rugby league great.
Grant injured in trial
While the possible loss of Grant would not be ideal for the Storm, they do have versatile Kiwi Brandon Smith waiting in the wings should he be required to deputise in the starting 13.
"Brandon was really good when he went to that position today," Bellamy said.
"He's a very handy player Brandon as he can play in the ruck and adds a lot of energy. I am sure he will do a good job if he gets the chance on Thursday week (in round one against the Rabbitohs)."
Both Grant and Smith looked lively at hooker during different times of the Storm's excellent performance in front of almost 4000 fans on the NSW-Victoria border town and the reigning premiers will be confident of another strong showing this season.
Match: Storm v Knights
Round 3 -
Venue: Albury Sports Ground, Albury
Grant had set up Kiwi prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona for one of Storm's three first-half tries, while Smith's darting run from dummy half helped Felise Kaufusi make it 24-0 early in the second stanza.
The Knights – badly missing the guidance and spark of injured star fullback Kayln Ponga – showed little in attack for the majority of the contest and when they did go close to scoring they were stifled by an ever-present Storm defence.
Veteran halfback Mitchell Pearce didn't have the best of games with the boot, although off-season recruit Tyson Frizell looked like he will be a good pickup for Adam O'Brien's improving side.
Dylan Lucas did provide one highlight for the Knights when he crossed over on the hour mark, but Chris Lewis replied almost immediately to restore the 24-point buffer the Storm held early in the second half.
Towering English recruit Dominic Young crossed in the game's final moments for the Knights, but it was all too little too late as the Storm cruised home ahead of their season opener against the Rabbitohs in 12 days' time.