Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith has been sidelined after suffering a shoulder injury in the process of scoring a try against the Knights in the Storm’s 26-16 win.
Smith crossed the line midway through the first half after backing up Kenny Bromwich to extend the Storm’s lead. But Smith seemed to come out of the play hurt after Knights winger Enari Tuala tackled him as he dived over.
“Cameron decided to go on his own and he got there the old fella,” Paul Vautin said of the try in commentary.
After the conversion attempt the NRL veteran came off the field and quietly headed into the sheds.
At halftime one of Melbourne’s coaching staff Ryan Hinchcliffe confirmed to Nine’s Sam Thaiday that Smith was indeed injured while scoring the try and he was diagnosed with a low grade AC joint complaint.
“They’re saying that if they need Cam Smith to go back out there, he will go back out there,” Thaiday said during his halftime report.
“I don’t know if they’re going to risk it this far out to the end of the season, so we might see Smith on the bench for the rest of the afternoon.”
During his 18-year career, Smith has only ever played less than 40 minutes on one other occasion.
There were grave fears at first that the injury was serious, before the club clarified the severity of the problem on its official Twitter account.
The 37-year-old hooker is off contract at the end of 2020 and is yet to commit going again in 2021.
“It’s going to be a different look Melbourne Storm team if he’s not playing,” NRL analyst Phil Gould told Nine.
“We can see his shoulder jammed into the ground.
“It’s not a majorly serious injury, probably won’t even require surgery.
“He’ll be able to play with that sort of injury, it’s just a bit of precaution today [to bench him].”