Melbourne Storm Training Session
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 19: Nelson Asofa-Solomona is seen during a Melbourne Storm NRL training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium on October 19, 2020 in Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Storm are still yet to give up on the idea of Nelson Asofa-Solomona playing for the club in 2022 despite his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus global pandemic.

Asofa-Solomona was a monster for the Storm during the 2021 season, playing 17 games and making an average of 116 metres per contest, with almost 48 of them coming as post-contact.

The towering prop's position in the side has only become more important thanks to the loss of Dale Finucane to the Cronulla Sharks and no-fault stand-down of Tui Kamikamica.

SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Dale Finucane in action during a Melbourne Storm NRL training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium on May 24, 2021 in Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

It has left the Storm short on depth in the middle third, and if Asofa-Solomona is unable to play, it'll only make things tougher.

The reports of the Storm still being confident of Asofa-Solomona's ability to play in 2022 come following last week's bombshell report that he may make a code switch to play rugby union in Japan.

Under current Victorian government restrictions for unvaccinated persons, Asofa-Solomona is unable to enter Melbourne's training facility or play in any games, while his ability to travel interstate is also cut off.

Despite that, Melbourne Storm CEO Justin Rodski told SEN Radio on Wednesday that the club are still "hopeful" that he will be able to play, while also revealing he has been training on his own.

"We're really still hopeful and optimistic that he'll be able to return to commence official pre-season training sooner rather than later," Rodski said.

"He has been training away from the club. He has a program at the moment, so we know that he's keeping himself in good condition.

"In terms of time frame on that (resolving the situation), I actually couldn't say at the moment. It is a sensitive one and we're working through that.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Nelson Asofa-Solomona of the Storm is sent to the sin-bin during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm at the Sydney Cricket Ground on September 28, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

"The process is there and we're hopeful that we'll be able to resolve it in the coming weeks."

The NRL have almost reached full vaccination amongst its playing group, with only a few players remaining unvaccinated as the season draws nearer.

Pre-season trials will kick off with the NRL All Stars game on Saturday, February 12, with the season proper to kick off on Thursday, March 10 when the South Sydney Rabbitohs clash with the Brisbane Broncos.