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Melbourne centre Steven Bell will miss all four of the Storm?s pre-season trial matches after suffering stress fractures in his right foot several weeks ago.
Bell is expected to play in the Storm?s National Rugby League season opener against Newcastle on March 21, despite undergoing surgery on the troublesome ankle almost three weeks ago.
?Steve has stress fractures in his right foot ? it?s basically a training injury that has developed over time,? Storm physiotherapist Matt Natusch said.
?He had surgery a few weeks ago and will be in plaster for another two weeks, after that time he will be able to commence running again. At this stage he is still on track to play in the first game of the regular season.?
Meanwhile fullback Robbie Ross has withdrawn from Saturday night?s trial match against Tweed Heads in Noosa after the former NSW and Test representative decided not to risk injury in the first of four pre-season hit-outs.
?Robbie?s just recovered from re-aggravating a hamstring injury ten days ago and because we are travelling to Noosa and playing on the same day, this type of injury could stiffen up so we?ll hold off on playing him this week while we have the luxury of time,? Natusch added.
While Ross will have to wait another week before playing his first trial match of the year, former Penrith young gun Steve Turner will take over as starting fullback this weekend - both players are in contention for the Storm?s fullback role this season.
Hooker Nathan Friend is also in some doubt after tearing an abdominal muscle at training this week but coach Craig Bellamy will give the nuggetty 22-year-old until Saturday to prove his fitness.