NRL Rd 1 - Wests Tigers v Storm
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Xavier Coates of the Storm looks on during the warm-up before the round one NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Melbourne Storm at CommBank Stadium, on March 12, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Xavier Coates will miss the remainder of the 2022 State of Origin series, and the next eight weeks for the Melbourne Storm after scans revealed he has suffered a high grade syndesmosis injury.

The Storm are yet to officially reveal the news, but are expected to do so on Sunday.

Coates suffered the injury during the first half of the opening State of Origin clash against the New South Wales Blues on Wednesday evening at Homebush.

He attempted to play on at the time, and it's unclear if that did any further damage, however, he eventually succumbed to the injury after 28 minutes, with Jeremiah Nanai coming onto the park, Kurt Capewell moving to centre and Valentine Holmes back to the wing for the remaining 52 minutes of a series-opening victory against the Blues.

It's understood Coates will be out for eight weeks with surgery required on the ankle, although could be back in as few as six if there is no fracture.

It'll come as a major blow for the Storm, who are also battling the long-term injury of Reimis Smith.

The centre has been replaced since his injury by Marion Seve, while little-known debutant Grant Anderson joined the team for Saturday's Round 14 clash with the Sydney Roosters.

Ryan Papenhuyzen is due back in the side next week however for Round 15 and a final push to play State of Origin, which will likely see Nick Meaney move back to the wing and Dean Ieremia keep his spot on the other side of the field, with William Warbrick currently injured and Jack Howarth seemingly unable to gain an opportunity.

The Maroons, on the other hand, are likely to bring either Murray Taulagi or Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow into the side on the wing.

An eight-week lay-off would likely see the Queensland star return for the Storm's Round 20 clash against the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland.