Craig Bellamy can't picture Cameron Smith playing in any other NRL jersey but says he will support whatever decision his club captain makes on his future.
Smith is set to return from a shoulder injury in Sunday's clash with Manly, with the Storm also boosted by the additions of Cameron Munster and Jesse Bromwich making for an all-star returning cast.
But questions have continued to persist over Smith's future in his three week absence, with an announcement widely believed to be imminent.
Privately, Melbourne believe this year will be his last in Storm colours.
The bigger question is whether the 37-year-old will retire or play on elsewhere, with both Brisbane and Gold Coast looming as suitors.
While Bellamy will not push his superstar hooker on a decision on his future, he admits it's hard to imagine him playing anywhere else.
"I can't (imagine it). But I'm old school, I'm over 60 years old," Bellamy said.
"When I played it was always important and people felt more pride in playing at just one club.
"But these days with the salary cap and other parts of our game and in society, because of how it has changed, it doesn't seem to be as important these days.
"But me personally I would find it very hard to watch him play in a different NRL jersey.
"But if he decides to do that I will support him 100 per cent."
On the field, Bellamy hopes to reap the reward of Smith's longest layoff in a decade.
The veteran was excused from most team training and meetings during his recovery, with the hope it will freshen him up for the run into another finals series.
"Hopefully that will leave him fresher than what he would be at this time of year," Bellamy said.
"We've tried to use it as a positive.
"It's not a positive not having him playing but in the situation we're in we tried to give him a complete break and hopefully he will come back nice and fresh."
Meanwhile, Bellamy said there was nothing to report on his own future, despite interest from Brisbane to replace the departed Anthony Seibold.
The master coach has twice knocked the Broncos back before, and has previously indicated next season will be his last as a head coach.
"I'm under contract at the Storm and that is fact," Bellamy said.