Papenhuyzen makes comeback from head knock

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy admits to being concerned for Ryan Papenhuyzen after his head injury.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy admits to being concerned for Ryan Papenhuyzen after his head injury.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy admits he was concerned about how Ryan Papenhuyzen's nasty concussion would affect the star mentally ahead of his NRL return on Friday night.

The 23-year-old Storm fullback has spent more than two months on the sidelines battling re-occurring concussion symptoms as a result of a concerning head knock he copped in Magic Round.

Concerns were high for his future as he struggled with the ongoing impact of the brain injury.

"We didn't like to see him go through that," Bellamy said ahead of Friday's clash with North Queensland.

"As a footy player we'd like to have him in our team but the biggest thing was his own wellbeing, physically and mentally because it was a serious injury, we were quite concerned about where he was going to be as a person and then as a player."

Once he was over the symptoms, Bellamy said he wanted to be sure Papenhuyzen could regain his full confidence too.

"That it's taken so long for Paps to come back, we wanted to make sure he's well and truly over the symptoms that he's suffering and basically he's been back in full training now for two or three weeks," he said.

"We've been patient, he's been patient, and he knows what to expect tomorrow night.

"He's prepared himself and we've prepared him the best we can and hopefully it'll work out that he can continue playing the rest of the year."

Papenhuyzen has been named on the bench to play the Cowboys with Cronulla-bound fullback Nicho Hynes set to start.

Both are first-class fullbacks and Bellamy was coy about how they could be used on Friday and through the rest of the season.

"We've got a plan for tomorrow night and hopefully that plan will work out the way we want it to," he said, without ruling out or confirming whether there would be a switch to have Papenhuyzen start the game.

"He won't be playing 80 minutes."

Meanwhile, the Storm are bracing to lose workhorse Dale Finucane as more clubs join the hunt for the NSW Origin forward.

"I'm not quite sure exactly where it is but it's probably not looking too great for us to be quite honest. We'll hang in there until the end," Bellamy said.

"We'd love to keep him at the club without a doubt, there's no divided opinion on that whatsoever.

"Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk ... I can't think of too many other players we've wanted to keep more than Dale if he does leave.

"I'd put him up there in that category. I don't know how you measure that kind of loss."

Australian Associated Press