Cheyse Blair of the Storm is tackled by Bodene Thompson of the Warriors in round two.
Cheyse Blair of the Storm is tackled by Bodene Thompson of the Warriors in round two. DAVID ROWLAND

Storm dealt a blow with key man ruled out for season

THE Melbourne Storm has suffered a setback to its NRL title aspirations after underrated centre Cheyse Blair was ruled out of the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.

The 25-year-old Blair was injured during the first half of last Saturday's loss to Parramatta at AAMI Park and shortly afterwards left the field.

Scans on Tuesday revealed he has a fracture in his right ankle and will need to undergo surgery next Monday. He should be available for the start of pre-season training in November.

Blair had been a fixture in Craig Bellamy's team this season, scoring five tries in 13 games.

Storm football director Frank Ponissi said the club would miss Blair's impact.

"Cheyse was having a good follow-up season to last year when he played in the grand final, so to see his year cut short is extremely disappointing," Ponissi said in a statement.

"However, knowing the character that he is, Cheyse will throw everything into his rehab to return strongly in 2018.

"Given the depth we have shown during the Origin period, the challenge is now there for our younger players to step up and continue the promising signs they have shown."

News Corp Australia

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