Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is certain to be sweating over halfback Jahrome Hughes' calf complaint, however, if the Kiwi's recovery is anything to go by, the Storm may still be in good stead.

The Storm were without their No. 7 last weekend in their must-win bout against the Sydney Roosters, however, young utility Tyrone Wishart stepped up in a big way, scoring the opening try with some nifty footwork before a Will Warbrick try sealed the 18-13 win.

However, the Penrith Panthers are an entirely different kettle of fish, and Bellamy knows it.

While question marks are still flying over Hughes' availability, 'Bellyache' believes he should be right to go for the clash.

“Pretty confident, he hasn't done all the training this week, but he done (sic) some [Tuesday],” Bellamy told SEN.

Jahrome Hughes during the round two NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and Canterbury Bulldogs at AAMI Park on March 11, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Grimes/Zero Digital Sports)

“He looked okay, he wasn't going 100 per cent and he didn't do the whole session, we're pretty confident, we'll give him a run tomorrow in the captain's run and go from there.

“From what I seen (sic) yesterday, again I'm not an expert in injuries, but he looked okay to me.”

Already massive outsiders, losing Hughes would all but put a nail in Melbourne's coffin as the rested Panthers welcome back Jarome Luai and Izack Tago, aiming to take Penrith to a fourth consecutive decider.

While the Panthers have ran hot, the Storm have spluttered, and have taken a step back from the 80-minute juggernauts they're known to be, with Bellamy focused on improving.

“That was really disappointing how we played up there (against Brisbane),” Bellamy added.

“I think I said to them during the week, it wasn't just one part of our team or one person, it was basically the whole team, but having said that, when you have a performance like that you can't just go point your fingers at the players.

Melbourne Storm Training Session
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Tyran Wishart of the Storm passes the ball during a Melbourne Storm NRL training session at Gosch's Paddock on March 21, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

“Obviously they were disappointed with how they played, our whole spine was, that was probably the poorest game they've played all year.

“Certainly, we made some steps forward last week.”

Hughes will have until an hour before kick-off on Friday night to prove his fitness, with Wishart on standby in case.