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Munster out for 2-3 weeks after finger surgery, Coates sidelined


If there was any doubt about the tenacity of the football players, it took only half an hour of the season opener at Parramatta to dispel the idea that the game had gone soft.

Melbourne superstar Cameron Munster had his first diverted moment of the year, suffering a compound fracture in his ring finger in the first half of Storm’s win over the Eels which forced him to leave the competition.

Although Munster returned to action after a series of painkiller injections, it was later confirmed that he underwent surgery on his return to Victoria and will miss the next two or three weeks.

Xavier Coates, who suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the game, will also miss two weeks although scans have revealed his SC injury to be a sprain and nothing more serious.

Speaking to the media in the hangars after his side’s 16-12 Golden Points victory, Munster revealed the horror of the injury as it occurred.

“I felt my finger go numb when I got it in that tackle with (Clint) Gutho,” he said. “I thought ‘it’s not okay’. I look down and there’s a bit of bone and a bit of shock hits me. I didn’t have much emotion until I came downstairs and the doctor told me I needed a needle. I much prefer the wound because I hate needles.

“I hit him a few times in the second half in tackles and it was a little grimacing, but I was lucky to have the needles to ease the pain.”

Munster showed the extent of the injury to the waiting media, but thankfully refused to allow photos.

“It was two (numbing) needles and it’s kind of gross right now,” he added. “You are asking the wrong person (about the surgery). I have dislocated a finger (in the past), but not a compound.

“I was a little surprised when I saw it, I had never seen bone sticking out and I hate needles, I was screaming like a ten year old when they pricked me.”

Craig Bellamy was impressed with his half heart to continue and revealed his medical team were at six and seven to figure out what had happened.

“Actually, I didn’t see him come off the pitch,” the coach said. “They said ‘it’s going to be five minutes’, then it was going to be half time, then we got a message that he wasn’t coming back at all. It was all a bit mixed up there for a while.

There was a bit of confusion about the seriousness of the situation, but he got back there and showed a lot of ticker.

“He broke the bone through the skin, so he’s going to need an operation. He’s brave enough to take the injection, they recorded it and he finished the game for us.

“Hopefully he can get it earlier in the week and we have a longer deadline, but I’m not entirely sure so I’ll talk to the doctor and the physio.”

He continued to play, although Munster admitted he wasn’t all the way given the issues he was having with pain.

“I tried to pass it a little more,” he explained. “I probably didn’t run as much as I would have liked afterwards.

“It was still painful at times, even though I had numbing needles in my finger. I feel like it was good. There were times when I needed to inject a little more, I was a passer trying to distribute the ball rather than using my running game.

Despite the horror of the injury, Munster said he hoped to appear next week for the Storm’s home opener against the Bulldogs.

“(Next week) is the goal, but I’ll have to see how it goes tomorrow, the numbing needles are still doing a good job at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see how I wake up tomorrow, hopefully will not be infected.

“If I’m only going to be 60% or 70% I’m not going to push it, I’m going to make sure I’m 100% before I go out again.”

Munster weren’t the only ones injured: Young Tonumaipea had a series of complaints and Xavier Coates left early with a shoulder problem. He will miss the next few weeks at least.

“There were guts all over our squad,” Munster said. “Young (Tonumaipea) had a small gash in his eye, cramps and an ankle problem as well. The team dug deep tonight and we got the points.

The prognosis on Coates, according to Bellamy, was poor.

“I’m not sure about the long term, but he’ll probably miss a few weeks,” he said. “I thought he did something to his AC, but they tell me it’s his SC, it’s a new injury for me in my shoulder, I don’t know what SC is.

“But he played there for five minutes, so a bold performance from him as well. I imagine he won’t be playing for a few weeks at best.

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