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Storm's Bromwich dislocates thumb in NRL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/03/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy admits he'll likely be without Jesse Bromwich "for a while", with the front-rower dislocating his thumb in their season-opening NRL win over Canterbury.

Bromwich told Storm trainers he felt the bone protruding from his skin following what Bellamy described as an innocuous incident and immediately came from the field in the 10th minute.

Bellamy said the likely loss of Bromwich was a huge blow to their start to the season.

"He didn't hesitate to come off. As soon as he was in the tackle, and it was pretty innocuous, all of a sudden, he was on the sideline which is not like him at all," Bellamy said.

"He's a real spearhead for us. We consider him the best front-rower in the game so to lose him so early is a big thing. I don't know if he's busted it or not. It's come through the skin.

"He actually put his hand down, felt the bone sticking out. It's why he knew there was something wrong. I imagine it's going to be a fair few weeks."

Bromwich's injury comes after the loss of fellow New Zealand international Tohu Harris for eight weeks due to a stress fracture in his left foot.

Felise Kaufusi played the entire 80 minutes for the first time in his career, while Christian Welch, Tim Glasby and Nelson Asofa-Solomona also had extended playing time.

Bellamy challenged the youngsters to back up their effort in Bromwich's absence.

"I thought they did a pretty good job. They'll need to back that up in the next few weeks because he's going to be missing for a while," he said.

"It's a real test for them because they haven't really done that consistently over any period of time."

Bellamy also conceded veteran fullback Billy Slater was also unlikely to make his much-anticipated return in next week's match against the Warriors.

"We'd like to think he'd be back sooner rather than later, whether that's 2-3 weeks or 5-6 weeks, so be it. He's training really well. He probably needs to do a bit more work," he said.

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