Melbourne utility Nick Meaney is set to line up in the first week of the finals despite aggravating a shoulder injury late in Thursday's 22-14 loss to Parramatta.
Currently sharing fullback duties with Cameron Munster, Meaney was flattened in a tackle by Will Penisini as the final two minutes ticked down at CommBank Stadium.
He managed to remain on the field despite visible pain, revealing at full-time he had been battling the injury to his AC joint since round 20.
That day, Meaney landed awkwardly attempting to diffuse a kick and has been going in for needling ever since.
"I took a fall against the Warriors and landed on my head and shoulder, that's when it started," Meaney told reporters.
"But it's one of those injuries you can carry and fight through the pain."
Meaney has played 87 career games across stints at Newcastle, Canterbury and now Melbourne but is yet to feature in the finals.
He said the injury, while "nasty", would not keep him from making his post-season debut, likely against Canberra in an elimination final next weekend.
"We've got a long turnaround so I'll rest up during the week, probably get needled again next week," he said.
"I'm looking forward to (playing finals). There's a lot at stake so hopefully we can go out and perform well."
For the first time since 2011, the Storm are entering the finals on the back of consecutive losses.
Melbourne's lukewarm form has pushed them to fifth on the ladder, their third-lowest finish in the past 17 seasons.
"We're just shooting ourselves in the foot," Meaney said.
"We're in the fight still and there are positive signs but it comes back to ball security, making our tackles and completing our sets.
"That's when things start to happen for you but we're just not doing that at the moment."
Munster's co-conspirator Jahrome Hughes is set to return from a calf complaint for the first week of the finals in a timely boost for Melbourne.
"Hopefully next week's Hughesy's back and we can try to get the job done,' Meaney said.
Australian Associated Press