Melbourne prop George Rose has asked for a release from the club on compassionate grounds.
Rose has been struggling living so far away from his Sydney-based family and on Wednesday asked Storm officials if he could head home immediately. It's not the first time Rose has asked for a release since heading south - the first request came before the season started. On several other occasions, the cult hero approached Storm officials about the prospect of cutting ties, but to this point they have held firm.
The premiership-winning front rower hasn't played any football over the past fortnight, with Melbourne granting his request to spend much of that period with his family in Sydney.
The Indigenous All Stars prop, who signed a one-year deal, would likely find a NSW-based club with several on the lookout for reinforcements in the engine room.
Rose could be released should a capable replacement be found before the mid-season player transfer deadline expires. It's understood the Storm are looking at contingency plans and have sounded out several player managers as part of their search.
However, the loss of prop Jordan McLean for seven weeks for his tackle on Newcastle's Alex McKinnon could come into Melbourne's thinking. It's unlikely the club will appeal the suspension.
The Rose family are a tight-knit bunch. His grandfather and his father also share the name George Rose, the latter passing away when he was nine. Rose is one of three children, including three footy mad boys, and is close to his mother, Cherie. The former Roosters and Manly prop has played his best footy when they are close by, culminating in a grand final ring with the Sea Eagles.
"It's very different but it's growing on me," Rose said of life in Melbourne prior to his clash against former club Manly in round one.
"I've been spending a bit of time exploring the city so there's a few things to do. No Manly beach here, but it's still a nice place."
Rose lost eight kilograms during a Melbourne pre-season which he described as the toughest of his career.