The Melbourne Storm say Cameron Munster may not be ready for Queensland selection ahead of State of Origin I as he continues his recovery from a foot injury.
- Munster has made a slow recovery from a foot strain he sustained earlier this month
- Ryan Papenhuyzen is set to be unavailable for selection because of concussion
- Harry Grant and Christian Welch are expected to be passed fit for the Maroons
Ryan Papenhuyzen is also in doubt for game one on June 9, with Storm general manager of football Frank Ponissi saying he is “highly unlikely” to be available for New South Wales selection.
Munster, who starred for the Maroons in their shock Origin series win last year, sustained a foot sprain in the Storm’s 50-0 thrashing of South Sydney at Stadium Australia on May 6.
He has not played since the Rabbitohs’ match and has been completing his injury recovery at the Storm’s Sunshine Coast base in recent weeks.
The respective Origin squads are expected to be finalised on Sunday before being announced the following day.
Ponissi said Munster had not made as much progress with his recovery as the Storm had hoped.
“He has come along a lot slower than we had hoped and thought,” he told ABC Sport.
“Usually Cameron is a pretty good healer, but he is just starting to run now. He stayed up on the Sunshine Coast yesterday with the injured players and he did a session this morning.
“So he did a lot more running this morning but he’s got a bit of work to do before Sunday to be cleared.”
Papenhuyzen, who is yet to make his Origin debut for the Blues, has not played in the NRL since being concussed during Magic Round at Lang Park earlier this month.
Ponissi said the exciting fullback might need to spend more time on the sidelines.
“It will be highly unlikely that Papenhuyzen will be available for [State of Origin] selection,” Ponissi said.
Ponissi said Storm pair Harry Grant (hamstring) and Christian Welch (knee), who both played for the Maroons last year, would be available for Origin 1.
The series opener is scheduled to be played at the MCG but the NRL is considering moving the match to another venue in light of Melbourne’s COVID-19 outbreak.
Ponissi said the Storm would remain based on the Sunshine Coast due to Melbourne entering a seven-day lockdown from midnight.