Munster ‘pretty good chance’ to face Broncos

Murray Wenzel |

The Storm continue to sweat over the fitness of Cameron Munster ahead of a meeting with Brisbane.
The Storm continue to sweat over the fitness of Cameron Munster ahead of a meeting with Brisbane.

Cameron Munster’s impending NRL return comes with an asterisk as Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy grapples with an injury he admits has left even the NRL club’s medical staff confused.

Munster is set to begin his 2024 campaign against Brisbane in Melbourne on Thursday night.

But that’s providing he doesn’t wake up with more soreness from a groin injury that’s kept the club guessing.

“There’s a pretty good chance that he might line up,” Bellamy said on Wednesday.

“The injury’s been fine, or seems to be fine, then all of a sudden flares up again.

“He’s had a couple of sessions this week that he’s gone pretty well in and hopefully he’ll pull up okay tomorrow, or after today’s session, and we’ll just go from there.

“It’s been frustrating for him, frustrating for everyone. Pretty good one day, not so good the next.

“He’s had a bit of a tough run on it, being up and down and with all due respect has probably got the medical staff a bit confused as well.”

The Storm five-eighth has been a thorn in the Broncos’ side for the best part of a decade and is one of the key reasons Melbourne have not lost to their fierce rivals at home in eight years.

The hosts will welcome back prop Christian Welch from concussion, while star half Jahrome Hughes returns from suspension.

But prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona remains in the NSW Cup with North Sydney.

Bellamy said he “wasn’t expecting miracles” from Munster if he does play and has instead asked for his team to ramp up the pressure on Broncos halfback Adam Reynolds after his masterclass against North Queensland.

“They’re obviously missing a couple of players at the moment but you wouldn’t have thought so (after) their performance last week,” he said of a Broncos side without Payne Haas and Reece Walsh.

“They’re big and strong and they run quick.

“When you’ve got a guy like Reynolds directing them around the field … one of the commentators made the statement he kicked them (the Cowboys) to death. He did.

“Hopefully we can get a bit more pressure on him than he had last week.”

Brisbane beat the Storm 26-0 in last year’s Suncorp Stadium semi-final to end a run of 14 straight losses, but haven’t won at AAMI Park since August 2016.

“No, not all at,” Brisbane coach Kevin Walters said when asked if he believes in hoodoos.

“We smashed that hoodoo last year, anyway.

“It’s a great occasion to head to AAMI Park … a great opportunity.

“There’s more strides yet, as well. Patty (Carrigan) was really well supported by all the pack and that needs to be the case every week.”

AAP