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.
My inbox can rest easy - despite being in a moonboot there’s no major injury for Ryan Papenhuyzen. A minor rolled ankle at training, nothing serious. Boot used to take a bit of pressure off the ankle but likely out of it very soon. Absolutely no doubt for Round 1 in 7 weeks time pic.twitter.com/UyMH7u8wqZ
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) January 19, 2022
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.