2020 NRL Grand Final - Panthers v Storm
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 25: Ryan Papenhuyzen of the Storm celebrates scoring a try during the 2020 NRL Grand Final match between the Penrith Panthers and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen was pictured in a moon boot this week, but the club has confirmed he will be ready to go for Round 1 in just seven weeks time.

While countless players have had their preparations for the 2022 season interrupted by the global coronavirus pandemic, being forced to isolate for at least seven days after contracting the virus, Papenhuyzen becomes the second player to be pictured in a moon boot in as many weeks.

The news surrounding the Storm fullback follows that of Luke Keary last week, who spent time in a moon boot, but is also set to be fit and ready to play in Round 1.

It's understood Papenhuyzen's need for the foot device was brought on by a minor sprained ankle, with the club reportedly telling Fox Sports that he rolled it at training.

“A rolled ankle at training - nothing serious,” a club spokesperson said.

The Melbourne star spent a large chunk of the 2021 season on the sidelines as he battled a concussion sustained during magic round in a match against the St George Illawarra Dragons.

He eventually returned and was excellent for the Storm up until they were eventually knocked out of the finals race by the Penrith Panthers just a week out from the grand final.

Any injury to Papenhuyzen would be far more costly to Melbourne this year though without Nicho Hynes at the club, who filled in for the star last year and quickly became one of the most in-form players in the competition.

Hynes has now departed to the Cronulla Sharks, leaving Nick Meaney as the likely second string fullback option to Papenhuyzen.


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