The Melbourne Storm are set to be without Queensland Maroons duo Cameron Munster and Xavier Coates next week after the pair picked up injuries in the club's 16-12 win over Parramatta.
Despite Craig Bellamy winning his 20th consecutive Round 1 match, once again it's come at a cost after both Munster and Coates were forced from the field, although the former did return into the game.
Munster suffered a compound dislocation of his ring finger midway through the first-half, while Coates left the field in the second period after struggling with a shoulder issue throughout the half.
It would've brought back bad memories for Bellamy, who lost both Christian Welch and George Jennings for the entire year during last year's season opener against the Wests Tigers.
Neither Maroon is set to be sidelined long-term according to the club, however neither will be fit to face Canterbury next Saturday.
"Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster is expected to miss the next two to three NRL matches following surgery in Melbourne today to fix a compound fracture of his ring finger sustained in the win against Parramatta last night," the club said in a statement released via storm.com.au
"Meanwhile, winger Xavier Coates is expected to be sidelined for one to two weeks after suffering a sprain to a SC joint in attempting to make a tackle in the second half.
"Scans cleared Coates of any further damage."
It appears a three-horse race to fill Munster's boots over the next two to three games, between Jayden Nikorima, utility Tyran Wishart and rookie Jonah Pezet to decide who dons the No. 6 in Saturday's home clash.
Coates is the latest in a long line of injured backline stars for Melbourne, having already lost Ryan Papenhuyzen, George Jennings, Marion Seve, Justin Olam and Dean Ieremia to the casualty ward, leaving their options thin.
Rookie Jack Howarth could come into the side at centre and push Young Tonumaipea to the wing, otherwise the Storm will be forced to chase NRL clearance to play a back outside their top 30, either Grant Anderson or Sua Fa'alogo.
The Storm will face the Bulldogs next Saturday as the home side looks to extend their winning start to consecutive victories.