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Storm Christian Welch injury news, tears, George Jennings, Brandon Smith

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An emotional Christian Welch has fought back tears while addressing his season-ending Achilles injury.

Welch’s 2022 season was cut short during Melbourne’s win over Wests Tigers in round one on Saturday.

The Storm co-captain hit the deck with a non-contact injury in the shadows of full-time.

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He was stepping forward off the defensive line when he collapsed in pain.

“I heard a big pop. It’s not good when you hear pops. I’ve done two ACLs,” Welch told reporters.

The 27-year-old, who had just re-signed with the Storm on a three-year deal in the off-season, is no stranger to season-ending injuries, after suffering ACL tears in 2017 and 2019.

But this setback nonetheless stings.

“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.”

Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now.

NRL Highlights: Storm comeback strong to beat the Tigers – Round 1

Welch also put his situation into perspective when he made it clear how lucky he considered himself to be a professional footballer.

“I know I have it a lot better than a lot of other people in society. I still get paid every month and I don’t have to work,” Welch said.

The Storm’s win also saw George Jennings go down with an ACL injury, while hooker Brandon Smith suffered a broken hand.

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