Melbourne Storm injury crisis to reach critical mass with Jahrome Hughes facing WEEKS on the sidelines with shoulder injury with a top four spot on the line
- Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes injured his shoulder in Melbourne’s 32-14 win on Friday night
- The 27-year-old could miss the rest of the regular season and the top four race
- Melbourne is battered with many end-of-season injuries in their roster
Melbourne’s build-up to the NRL final has taken another major blow with star halfback Jahrome Hughes who will miss the remainder of the regular season with a shoulder injury.
The New Zealand international sustained the injury late in the first half and played until halftime before being taken out of Friday’s game against the Gold Coast Titans.
Hughes’ suspected dislocation could force him out of the remaining regular season, forcing coach Craig Bellamy to shake his hand.
The 27-year-old missed the second half of Melbourne’s 32-14 win over the Titans when he landed on his outstretched left arm in a Beau Fermor tackle.
Storm star halfback Jahrome Hughes grabs his left shoulder after stretching his arm in a tackle from Titan Beau Fermor
The No. 7 pistol later grabbed his shoulder, the same one he dislocated in 2018.
Fox League reporter Lara Pitt said after the game that the half would be scanned on Saturday.
“He’s at the physio in the shed, the club told me he just didn’t have any strength in that shoulder, there were concerns that he had dislocated it from contact but he got right back in,” she said.
The scans will determine Melbourne’s roster for the last four games before the final.
Hughes fell on the joint of his left shoulder, with the contact supposedly jumping in and out of his shoulder immediately
The Storm struggled with roster injuries all year round, headlined by a horrific end-of-season knee injury to star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen.
Flyers Reimis Smith and George Jennings were also rubbed from the roster earlier this year with long-term chest and knee injuries.
Maroon great man Christian Welch tore his Achilles tendon in March, which was Melbourne’s first spanner in the works.
The lack of experienced first division players in Melbourne’s wing division forced coach Bellamy to borrow the services of Tigers veteran David Nofoaluma, who made his club debut in an 80-minute masterclass by impromptu No. 1 Cameron Munster.
Munster was rampant, scoring three tries and running 252 metres, single-handedly logging 20 of Melbourne’s 32 points.
Cameron Munster gave a clinic at the back of Melbourne’s spine, scoring three times and running 252 meters
“We’re trying to stay positive until we hear the bad news,” Bellamy said after the game.
“With Hughesy’s injury, we need him (Munster) more than with the fullback.”
Storm enforcer Brandon Smith was able to return to the sidelines again, as he was reported for an accidental ‘hip-drop’ tackle on Titans Captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui.
Ryan Papenhuyzen falls after crushing his knee in round 17 against the Sharks, who ruled him out for 2022
The recently suspended utility took part in the two-man tackle and grabbed the legs of Fa’asuamaleaui, who twisted badly when hitting the turf.
Bellamy pleaded with officials to put Smith’s tackle in a different category from suspended Bronco Patrick Carrigan, who broke Tigers star Jackson Hastings’ leg last week.
Fullback Nick Meaney returns to Melbourne’s 17 next week, while Cooper Johns will most likely replace Hughes if scans reveal the worst.