Melbourne fullback Billy Slater’s long-awaited comeback from a serious shoulder injury has stalled after just one game.
The Storm announced only an hour before kick-off against Gold Coast at AAMI Park on Sunday that Slater was a late withdrawal and would undergo further surgery.
There’s no set date for his return.
Slater made his first appearance in Storm colours in nine months in their Monday night round one win over the Dragons and didn’t appear troubled by his shoulder in his 80-minute performance.
He made a number of incisive runs and had a hand in two tries but more importantly was strong in defence, throwing his body into tackles.
New Queensland coach Kevin Walters said he’d seen enough in Slater’s sole game to declare he would be back in their No.1 jersey for State of Origin, after missing the third game last year because of surgery.
But the 32-year-old pulled up sore and was sent for a scan, and will now undergo an arthroscope this week to determine the extent of the damage.
“The club will have further information after the surgery and will only communicate further details once they are known,” the club said in a statement.
“The club will not speculate on a possible time of return to the field.”
Cameron Munster proved a revelation in Slater’s absence last season but the Test custodian’s value in terms of organising the attack and defence is unparalleled.
Teenage sensation Curtis Scott was called into the Storm line-up to make his NRL debut against the Titans in the centres, with Munster returning to fullback.