Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy remains resigned to being without Billy Slater for about a month, despite the NRL star’s hard work at training.
A week after Slater’s left arm was in a sling and he was ruled out with a shoulder injury, the fullback had a solid running session on his own.
It was a vast improvement and suggested Slater was ahead of schedule with his recovery.
But Bellamy said he still thinks Slater would need four to six weeks before his shoulder was ready for a return to the NRL.
“I don’t think he’ll be there this week but it’s nice to see him back, doing a bit of running again,” Bellamy said.
“It’s all going pretty good, the rehab.
“The diagnosis was four to six weeks, so that’s where it is at the moment.”
Bellamy said it was no surprise that Slater was working hard and looking like he was making a quick recovery.
“All your great players, your champion players like that, they’re so competitive – that’s what they do,” he said.
“That’s what they want to do.
“He’s obviously hurting, not playing at the moment, Billy, and he’s doing all he can to get back as quickly as he can.”
Bellamy said the key factor would be ensuring Slater’s shoulder had recovered properly.
“Again, obviously he looks a lot better than he did this time last week, which you’d expect,” Bellamy said.
“But certainly I’d imagine (with) a week’s rest, the pain would have settled down.
“We’re certainly not going to bring him back too early, which we always say about our players.
“Until it’s back to full strength, he won’t be playing.”