The Melbourne Storm have confirmed superstar striker Nelson Asofa-Solomona has returned to training after a months-long saga over his vaccination status.
Asofa-Solomona was supposed to return to pre-season training in December but couldn’t because Victoria’s Covid rules prohibit unvaccinated professional athletes from using team facilities.
Daniel Andrews’ government announced last year that all essential workers, including professional athletes, must have received two injections of a Covid-19 vaccine by November 26 to be able to work in Victoria.
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Asofa-Solomona, 25, spoke out on social media in his stance against the vaccine requirement, but his clash with his club ended.
“Front line nurses are speaking out. Ask yourself the question, why are they willing to lose their jobs for not having the juice? What do they see that we don’t see,” Asofa-Solomona posted on her Instagram Story in November.
However, the Storm confirmed on Thursday that Asofa-Solomona had returned to training after providing “the necessary information and certification to comply with the requirements of the governments of Victoria and Queensland to allow him to return to training and playing”. .
The club didn’t reveal whether he had been vaccinated or not.
“It’s great to have Nelson back at the club and back with his teammates,” said Storm CEO Justin Rodski.
“It has been a slightly broken build for Nelson, but more importantly he has completed his own individual training program over the past few months away from the club.
“He has returned to training in good shape and we are confident he will be ready for selection before the first round of the season.”
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It comes after teammate Brandon Smith posted an image of Asofa-Solomona arriving at training on Thursday morning.
Asofa-Solomona is under contract until the end of 2023 – for around $650,000 per season.
It looked like Asofa-Solomona was close to parting ways with the club, but he was cleared by the authorities to resume training at AAMI Park.
His return is a huge relief for Craig Bellamy’s side, with brothers Jesse and Kenny Bromwich defecting to the Dolphins in 2023.
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