"He's as fresh as I've seen him"
Speaking with Kevin Bartlett on SEN 1116, Football Director Frank Ponissi has said fullback Billy Slater is in great shape just four weeks into pre-season training.
After missing the Kangaroos' Four Nations campaign due to shoulder surgery, Slater is back training with Storm's first-grade squad prior to the Christmas break, something which has been a rarity in recent seasons due to the Queensland and Australian representative's heavy workload.
"Billy is training," Ponissi confirmed on Wednesday morning.
"This is his first pre-Christmas training since 2007. He's restricted in terms of his contact but he's doing all the skills, all the running.
"He's just got a spring in his step, having that break, not playing the Australian games, he's as fresh as I've seen him at this time since I've been here."
Ponissi also provided an updated on Matt Duffie and Slade Griffin as the Kiwi pair both return from knee re-constructions.
"As we know Matt has had incredibly bad luck over the last two years with two knee re-constructions at the beginning of both seasons, he's training well, he's not in full training at the moment," Ponissi said.
"The medical staff are pleased where he is but they're not going to rush him. Whether he plays in the trials, I'd say he would be doubtful.
"Slade Griffin, he's further advanced than Matt his.
"He's in just about full training at the moment, all bar the contact. He'll be right for the trials."