A fit Cameron Smith will lead the Storm troops back at AAMI Park on Thursday after making his return to NRL training.
The veteran captain joined his team in Albury for the first time since the coronavirus-enforced competition shutdown, given permission to remain in Melbourne for their opening week to help school his three children.
Smith’s stint in their NSW base is short-lived with the Storm heading back to Melbourne on Tuesday afternoon after being granted permission by the Victorian government to resume contact training this week.
They will be back on deck at their Melbourne headquarters from Thursday morning, ramping up preparations for the May 28 re-start.
Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said Smith had trained solo while still in Melbourne and on his first hit-out had blended in seamlessly with his teammates.
Melbourne had their first taste of contact training, with 13 players on 13.
“He looks really well – he’s obviously done a lot of work as well as being a home-school teacher,” Ponissi said.
“He’s in fantastic nick and we know how well he played in the first two games so a couple of weeks under his belt and he will be ready for round three.”
Ponissi said the club was sad to leave Albury despite opposition to them using council-managed grounds by local government.
But he said they were looking forward to settling in at home.
The club had to make preparations for their arrival, including setting up new entrances and exits for players, splitting their dressing room in two and changing meeting rooms to accommodate social distancing.