Grant out for Storm's first three games

Melbourne's start to life without Cameron Smith has suffered a setback with Harry Grant ruled out for at least three games with a knee injury.

Grant went down in Saturday night's NRL trial win over Newcastle, before scans on Monday morning revealed a high-grade sprain in his right medial ligament.

The Storm are still well placed to cover the Queensland No. 9, with Kiwi hooker Brandon Smith ready to come off the bench and start at dummy-half.

But it's a bitter blow for Grant, who had only previously come off the bench for Melbourne once in 2018 and 2019.

The 23-year-old was a star on loan at Wests Tigers last year, sparking their attack and becoming easily their most dynamic player.

He then went on to be one of Queensland's most important players in their State of Origin series win, having the best game of his career in the decider.

However, his success came as he battled a knee injury last year at the Tigers, and he has also had to deal with calf problems in the pre-season.