Storm lose young giant for eight weeks

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NRL: Injured storm fullback Billy Slater hopes Cameron Munster can get back from injury quickly to realise his frightening potential.

Asofa-Solomona has been in top form for the Storm.

MELBOURNE Storm’s forward stocks have taken a hit with Nelson Asofa-Solomona set to miss up to eight weeks with a knee injury.

The 200cm New Zealand giant injured his left knee in Storm’s 29-20 win over Wests Tigers at AAMI Park on Sunday, with scans yesterday showing he had torn his posterior cruciate ligament.

It is a setback for Storm, as Asofa-Solomona has been in good form with his size and aggression off the bench proving to be a nightmare for opposition teams

Storm will also not know until later this whether pivot Blake Green (calf) and fullback Cameron Munster (ankle) will be available to return against Brisbane on Friday night.

Coach Craig Bellamy has said he is more “hopeful than confident” given the short five-day turnaround.

Asofa-Solomona has been in top form for Melbourne this season.Source:AAP

Green’s absence has been felt, while Munster has been a standout this season.

The young Queenslander was poised to play in the centres this season before Billy Slater was forced to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery after Round 1.

Slater, speaking at yesterday’s annual Billy’s Buddies kids’ clinic, said his replacement had not put a foot wrong this season.

“I thought his (Munster’s) last game against the Roosters was probably his best performance of his career,” Slater said.

“He is just working out that balance between getting his work rate up and also making himself dangerous on the inside and around the halfback.

“He’s certainly moving along in leaps and bounds and hopefully he can continue to improve, because it’s scary where he can actually get to.

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“He’s playing terrific and for a relatively inexperienced guy, he’s certainly playing like an old head.”

While Munster has been wearing the No. 1 jersey, Slater has been quietly going about his rehabilitation and remains confident of returning next season.

“It (the shoulder) coming along really; I’ve been able to step it up over the past few weeks and things are moving along really nicely,” Slater said.

“I just had some physio just then and I’ll be coming into the club a lot more regularly now, so I’m looking forward to that.

“We’ve been a little bit more conservative this time around given the fact it’s the second shoulder reconstruction I’ve had in 12 months.

“But in terms of what we’re doing, it’s relatively the same.

“I hope to be there Round 1 next year.”

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