Melbourne Storm have confirmed that star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen is facing six weeks on the sidelines with hamstring and knee injuries.
The Storm are priced at 5/2 to win the 2022 grand final and the loss of Papenhuyzen will be a big setback to coach Craig Bellamy who now has an issue with the No.1 jersey.
There were fears Papenhuyzen was facing a spell out after suffering the injuries in the win over the Warriors at the weekend.
The Storm have now confirmed the news in Tuesday's injury update.
They have also revealed the full extent of the injury to Reimis Smith who will be out for even longer with a torn pectoral.
“Scans today have confirmed that Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen sustained a hamstring tear and a PCL injury in Sunday’s win against the St George Illawarra Dragons at AAMI Park,” the update revealed. “Papenhuyzen is expected to be off the field for around four to six weeks.
“Centre Reimis Smith will have surgery after scans taken late yesterday confirmed he sustained a ruptured pec against the Dragons. He will be sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks.
“Due to injuries in Storm’s outside backs, the NRL has granted approval for development squad member Marion Seve to be available for selection in the top grade from this weekend.”
The injury also means that Papenhuyzen has no chance of playing for New South Wales in game one of State of Orgin against Queensland on 8th June.