Billy Slater ruled out for the season

A shattered Billy Slater is determined to play again despite being told his 2016 NRL campaign is all but over after just one game.

The Melbourne Storm star underwent surgery in Sydney on Tuesday on his troublesome left shoulder for the second time in just nine months.

Slater, 32, last year signed a new two-year deal until the end of 2017.

While devastated by the prognosis of a six to eight month layoff, the Herald Sun understands Slater is not considering retirement and will throw everything at his recovery.
"He's taken this extremely hard as you could appreciate because he just worked so hard," Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said.

"While the length of time out is devastating, I think the pleasing part from the report we got from the surgeon was he is very confident Billy will make a full and successful recovery."
Slater starred in Storm's season-opener against the Dragons in Round 1 but pulled up sore afterwards.

"It is something that has been worrying him for awhile, but it was the way he reacted after the Dragons game when we knew there was something wrong," Ponissi said.

Queenslander Cameron Munster will replace Slater at fullback for Melbourne.

Munster is fast becoming an NRL star, but there is no doubt Slater is a huge loss for Storm's premiership hopes.

"We're devastated for Bill," Ponissi said.

"We were that excited at how he was training and he was so fit.

"He's the main one I feel sorry for, but it is obviously also a massive blow for us.

"But to just have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves up because we have a pretty resilient group here and they have a job to do."

Storm centre Will Chambers said the club felt deeply for Slater.

"It's disappointing for everyone else around the club as well," Chambers said.
"Bill is a big part of this club and has been for a long time.

"It's very disappointing and everyone has their fingers crossed for some good news over the next couple of days.

"It's obviously devastating for him.

"The news that he had to go back in and had to find out what's wrong with his shoulder is obviously hard."

Storm will next play New Zealand Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.


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