Slater ‘promising’ for game 300
MELBOURNE Storm says Billy Slater will play this week as along as he gets through training on Monday
Slater, 34, was ruled out seven days ago for the season opener in Perth, which Storm won, 36-18, over Canterbury Bulldogs, with a sore shoulder.
A decision will be made Monday, with Storm not willing to risk the fullback, stranded on 299 games, regardless of the impending milestone.
Storm football director Frank Ponissi said Slater is a "promising" chance to line up against West Tigers on Saturday night at AAMI Park.
"We and Billy, joint decision, don't want to make a decision until he trains," Ponissi said.
"If he gets through as we think he will, then he'll make a decision about this weekend.
"But we're not taking any chances and we're not letting the emotions of the 300 game (milestone) sway a decision.
"It will be made without any emotion and purely based on if he's right to go this weekend or we hold him off for one more week.
"If he's good to go we'll do it this weekend but there's no pressure from anyone."
Slater jarred his reconstructed left shoulder last month.
He was expected to play in Round 1 before pulling up sore from a contact session.
With Storm in WA last week preparing for the historic fixture at Perth Stadium, Slater stayed in Melbourne where he successfully completed "one or two" further contact sessions.
"He pulled up well from there but in terms of doing a full session, with the team, opposed, in terms of everything, we didn't have full numbers here last week," Ponissi said.
"We expect him to get through ... it would be something unexpected if he didn't play.
"If he gets through tomorrow he'll play on Saturday night."
Storm got through the season-opener unscathed.
Slater's imminent return will relegate stand-in fullback Cameron Munster to five-eighth with Ryley Jacks likely to move to the bench.
Storm recruit Sam Kasiano only played 12 minutes against the Bulldogs, his former team, after an ankle injury last month derailed an otherwise flawless pre-season.
"He was always going to play short minutes," Ponissi said.
"It was just where we were going to play him, that wasn't the plan to bring him on so late.
"The 12 or so minutes he did play was quite impressive actually, he's pulled up well from it.
"We were really happy with how he played, hopefully he'll get more game-time Saturday night."