Melbourne Storm have confirmed that star fullback Billy Slater has been ruled out of this week's opening clash against the Bulldogs.
Slater, who sustained a shoulder injury in the team's World Cup Challenge match, will sit out Round 1 as a precaution, Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said.
"Billy trained very well on Friday, however has pulled up a little sore since the session," Ponissi explained Monday afternoon.
"Billy and the medical staff have decided to take the cautious approach and therefore he won't play this Saturday.
"Scans have shown no structural damage, so we don't expect Billy to be sidelined for long."
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Slater also spoke about the news, saying that he was keen to make sure he was 100 per cent ready for the season ahead.
"While I was very close to playing this weekend, I wanted to ensure I was ready and prepared to step onto the field for an NRL match and for what is a long and rigorous season, taking this precaution is the best course of action," he said.
Melbourne Storm will take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday March 10 at 6pm.
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