STRATHFIELDSAYE Storm star Nick Smith breathed a sigh of relief on Monday when he was cleared of serious knee damage.
Smith was stretchered off the ground in Saturday’s big win over South Bendigo and the Storm’s first thoughts were that he would require a knee reconstruction.
“Nick had scans in Melbourne today and the injury is not as bad as we thought it was going to be,’’ Storm coach Darryl Wilson said.
“There’s a glimmer of hope that he might get back this year.
“It’s a slight cruciate tear – it’s not great, but we’re not going to write him off.”
Key defender Jayden Donaldson will head to Melbourne on Tuesday to have his injured knee looked at.
Donaldson was injured late in the game against South Bendigo.
“The first diagnosis for Jayden is that he might be able to get back as well,’’ Wilson said.
“He’ll need everything to go right, but we’ll wait and see how he goes.”
The Storm have this week off before tackling Sandhurst or Gisborne in the second semi-final.
The Storm’s reserves play in the elimination final this Sunday and the club could use the game as a chance to get game time into senior players who have had injury interrupted seasons.
Wilson said Shaun Everington, Lachlan Sharp, Luke Marchesi, Daniel Geary and Tom Bartholomew all qualify for the reserves finals.
“We have to make a decision as a group as to whether that’s the best thing to do by the players,’’ Wilson said.
“It might be better in some cases to give them a rest.”
Bartholomew, who starred for the Storm in last year’s finals series, is the least likely to play in the reserves this week as he continues to build his fitness.
“Tommy is coming along okay, but he probably won’t play this week,’’ Wilson said.
Meanwhile, Gisborne ruckman Tom Waters and Kangaroo Flat defender Linc Frost will front the BFNL tribunal on Thursday night to answer charges emanating from Saturday’s fiery encounter at Gardiner Reserve.
Waters needs to be cleared to take on Sandhurst star Tim Martin in the ruck in Sunday’s qualifying final.
Golden Square and Eaglehawk play in Saturday night’s elimination final.