Slater to miss one more game before return
Billy Slater rates himself no chance of a Melbourne comeback this weekend but says the outlook for his knee injury is brightening daily.
Slater has conceded he will certainly miss the Storm's NRL clash with the Cowboys at AAMI Park on Saturday.
But the superstar fullback is growing in confidence he may be fit for a return Saturday week for Melbourne's away clash against Parramatta.
Crucial to those hopes will be rejoining his team-mates for training later this week, which Slater believes he can do.
"(I'm) probably more of a chance for next week against Parramatta. Obviously there's a week of training ahead and I'm looking to do a bit of training with the boys," Slater said on Monday.
"It's starting to feel a lot more solid now, so I've just got to get that work into it and make sure it's 100 per cent.
"I'm just looking at 'when is it safe and best for me to come back into the side'.
"We've still got a lot of football left. I don't want to come back a week too early."
Slater injured his posterior cruciate ligament in game two of Queensland's State of Origin clean sweep.
He says the key to regaining the stability he needs for his explosive attacking game is proper rehabilitation and being able to trust a knee he admits will now "always have a little bit of play in it".
Slater, along with rested Storm skipper Cameron Smith, were frustrated spectators as the competition leaders were blown away 40-12 by rampant Canberra last weekend.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has earmarked changes, with Smith certain to return.
"I'm sure Craig will be going through the team with a fine-toothed comb, to make sure everyone's doing their job," Slater said.
"It's not the end of the world. We're still in the eight. It's about moving forward now."
Slater held his annual Billy's Buddies children's coaching clinic at Melbourne's Gosch's Paddock on Monday.