AAP Rugby

Storm’s Welch avoids serious knee injury

By AAP Newswire

Melbourne Storm prop Christian Welch has been cleared of an ACL rupture and is expected to be back playing within a few weeks, allaying fears he would require a second knee reconstruction.

A downcast Welch limped off AAMI Park at halftime of their win over Wests Tigers on Thursday night, appearing to recognise the severity of the injury after blowing out the same knee almost two years ago to the day.

That injury meant he missed the Storm's 2017 premiership win.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy spoke after the game, all but confirming the worst news for the 24-year-old.

"It looks like it's an ACL so that's really disappointing for us and for Christian," Bellamy said.

"He's been playing well and he was in line to play Origin so it's really disappointing."

However the club announced today that Welch had been cleared of a serious injury.

"Following scans today, Welchy has been cleared of an ACL rupture," the Storm said.

"He did suffer some structural damage to his knee and is likely to miss some games - no clear timeline at this stage."

Welch is unlikely to be available for the opening State of Origin in Brisbane on June 5, where he was hoping to make a Queensland debut.

Welch was 18th man for the Maroons in game three last year and was in line to break into the playing squad with some consistent performances in the Storm's stellar start to the season.