Storm denied Walsh switch by Warriors

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Melbourne will widen their search for a replacement for Ryan Papenhuyzen after the Warriors denied the NRL mid-season switch of young gun Reece Walsh.

The shaky stocks of the Storm's outside backs took another hit when star fullback Papenhuyzen shattered his knee cap, joining George Jennings and Reimis Smith as season casualties.

The Storm tried to lure the 20-year-old, who has been benched for their clash with Canberra, and had high hopes given Walsh had already signed a three-year deal with Brisbane and the Warriors out of finals contention.

But Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said they would have to look elsewhere before the August 1 signing deadline.

"That's been hit on the head," the coach told AAP on Friday ahead of their clash with Souths in Sydney.

"That's been knocked back by the Warriors so we've moved on.

"My job is not to go out there and try and find a replacement, my job is to coach with what we've got here and the other people on the recruitment side will look after that."

In some welcome news for Storm fans, who have watched their team lose their last three games, hulking winger Xavier Coates has returned to training.

Suffering a serious ankle injury back in early June, Coates was included in the captain's run and will be back in the line-up before the NRL finals.

"He will probably be another two or three weeks, he's only just started running," Bellamy said.

"He looks OK with his running but the physio obviously doesn't want to take any chances."

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