'Mum was crying': Melbourne Storm star breaks down in brutal moment

Seen here, Storm forward Christian Welch wipes away tears reflecting on his NRL season-ending injury.
Christian Welch wiped away tears reflecting on his season-ending injury from round one in the NRL. Pic: Fox Sports

Melbourne Storm's Christian Welch has choked back tears after discussing a devastating round one injury that looks like ruling him out of the entire NRL season.

Welch is set for surgery on Monday after suffering the serious Achilles injury in Melbourne's brutal 26-16 win over the Wests Tigers on Saturday night.

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The gutsy victory came at a huge cost for the Storm, with George Jennings also likely out for the season with an ACL injury and Brandon Smith set to be sidelined for a month with a broken hand.

Welch admitted to reporters on Sunday that he “heard a pop”, before going down in agony during the contest against the Tigers.

The 27-year-old representative forward couldn't hide his devastation after reflecting on the injury that's set to rule him out after just one match in 2022.

“It was pretty hard,” Welch said.

“I cried a fair bit in the changerooms.

“I think my mum was crying a bit when I was calling her, but I will be right ... It’s only an injury, I will get there.”

Storm coach Craig Bellamy says he was immensely proud of the courage his side showed in the face of adversity - with the spate of injuries compounded by the absences of stars Harry Grant, Cameron Munster and Jesse Bromwich.

“To be quite honest I can’t remember an effort as brave as that... I’m really, really proud of them,” Bellamy said after the match.

“Obviously it’s really disappointing for George and certainly Christian, he’s had a few tough times in our game, Christian, and he doesn’t deserve that. But we’ll back him all the way to get back.

“You feel so proud, we should be so happy, we should be jumping out of our skin but we feel so down for the two guys who have got the serious injuries.”

NSW State of Origin forward Tariq Sims looms as a genuine option for Melbourne's depleted pack after Welch's season-ending Achilles injury.

The same fate awaits Jennings who will be sent for an MRI scan on a suspected ACL tear.

Hooker Brandon Smith will also go under the knife after breaking his hand.

Welch and Smith's injuries in the pack also come with Tui Kamikamica still stood down indefinitely due to an off-field incident and Jordan Grant and Tom Eisenhuth out with calf injuries.

Bromwich also missed the win over the Tigers as a household contact of a COVID-19 case, with the Storm nervous on whether he will avoid the virus and be back to face South Sydney on Thursday.

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In a boost for the Storm, forward Trent Loiero escaped with a $1000 fine for a cannonball tackle on Wests Tigers forward Luciano Leilua.

Regardless, the situation threatens to leave the Storm under the pressure for the rest of the season.

Sims, meanwhile, has been told by St George Illawarra he will not be re-signed for next year and can leave if a deal is struck.

He can play in both the middle and and second row and had attracted interest at Melbourne before Saturday's injuries

"Not at the moment, no," Bellamy said when asked if Sims was headed south.

"We'll have a bit of interest in a few players the way we've lost some. Tui is suspended and we're not sure when he's coming back.

"We're not scraping the bottom of the barrel, but we're getting towards it.

"I was really confident in (debutant) Alec (MacDonald) putting in the effort [Saturday night]. I know how fit he is, that's his strength.

"But I'm not quite sure we have any more Alecs left.

Pictured here, Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy watches on during a training session.
Melbourhe Storm coach Craig Bellamy has been left with plenty of headaches after the round one win against the Tigers. Pic: Getty

"We'll have to pull two or three players into the squad if the two injuries are as serious as our medical team think they are."

Melbourne will get some relief on Thursday, with Grant and Munster both set to return.

It comes after Tyran Wishart stepped up with 78 minutes at dummy-half on debut, while MacDonald's 57-minute effort in the middle came despite him never playing a Queensland Cup game.

The likes of Jahrome Hughes and Ryan Papenhuyzen also proved again why they are among the top-tier players, taking over amid the injuries.

The pair had a role in all four second-half tries, with Hughes scoring one and making a bust in the lead up to another to help Storm go from 14-6 down to 10-point winners.

with AAP

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