Slater and Inglis in doubt for Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Slater and Inglis in doubt for Storm

By Wayne Heming 04/06/2009 06:54:23 PM Comments (0)

Queensland Origin heroes Billy Slater and Greg Inglis are battling to back up for Melbourne in Friday night's NRL grudge match against a Brisbane side missing star centre Justin Hodges.

While Hodges could be facing up to six weeks on the sidelines after damaging his medical ligament in Queensland's 28-18 Origin win, Slater (corked calf) and Inglis (shoulder) were rated only 50-50 to back up against the Broncos.

Melbourne had four players - Slater, Inglis, Dallas Johnson and Cameron Smith - involved in Wednesday night's Origin match at Etihad Stadium, while Brisbane had six in the physical clash.

Hodges turned up at Broncos training at Melbourne Grammar on Thursday on crutches.

He won't know the full extent of his latest injury until returning to Brisbane for scans.

"At this stage we're looking anywhere between two and six weeks," said Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak.

"It's disappointing because we lost him after the Australian game and now we've lost him after Origin, sometimes those things are a bit unfair."

Israel Folau will move into his preferred centre position for Hodges with exciting youngster Jharal Yow Yeh earning another crack on the wing.

Smith meanwhile rated Inglis's odds of playing slightly worse than Slater, who's had calf problems previously this season.

"Greg has got a bit of a shoulder injury and at the moment is 50-50 and Billy copped a knock on the calf which pulled up a bit worse this morning than what he hoped," said Smith before the Storm's final training run at Olympic Park on Thursday.

"We're not too sure about Billy, he's had problems with his calf over the last few weeks.

"He told the medical staff last night he was feeling quite good but overnight he's pulled up a bit sore."

Smith said former Storm sensation Folau would be a real handful in the centres even if it limited his high jumping game slightly.

"It doesn't really matter where Izzy plays, he's dangerous," said Smith.

While Smith was happy to see NSW winger Jarryd Hayne penalised for an illegal play on Folau in Wednesday night's Origin he said Melbourne would not employ any foul tactics to keep him off the ball on Friday night.

"We don't do that down here," he smiled.

"Izzy is the competition's equal leading try scorer and he's been playing mostly on the wing this season.

"He's very dangerous anywhere you put him. He's a threat whether you put kicks up for him or he has the ball in hand.

"We have a little bit of an advantage in that he played with us for a few years and we've got a few ideas on how to handle him best.

"But he's a monster of a man and sometimes when he gets some steam up, he can run over anyone."

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