Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater has been ruled out of the remainder of the 2015 NRL season with a shoulder injury.
The difficult decision to call an early end to his season was made by Slater late on Thursday afternoon after being assessed by Storm medical staff.
Slater will undergo surgery in the coming week to repair a labral tear of his Glenohumeral joint to his left shoulder, an injury he sustained in Storm’s Round 5 match against the Warriors.
Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said, “After Billy sustained the injury initially in Round 5 we knew he would require surgery at some stage.
“At the time we made the decision with Billy to take the conservative approach and rehab and strengthen the joint to get to the end of the season, but knowing potentially at some stage we wouldn’t be able to continue with this approach.
“While we would love to see Billy out on the field for the rest of the season, it was becoming harder for him to recover each week between limiting his preparation for games.”
Slater said it was an extremely tough decision to make, but one in the best interests of his health and the Club.
“After each game I play, the battle to get up for the next week is becoming harder and the shoulder takes longer to settle down not allowing me to play to my full potential,” Slater said.
“Each week I’ve been focused on getting up for the next game and was able to do that for Origin on Wednesday night at the MCG, however the best decision is to undergo surgery now.
“I’m extremely disappointed not to be available to play for Queensland in Game 3 and especially for the rest of the season with Melbourne Storm.”
In other news, negotiations with Slater’s management to extend his career at Melbourne Storm are progressing positively.
Note: Slater’s current shoulder injury is not the same shoulder he had surgery on at the end of the 2014 season.