Cleary racing the clock for Eels game

Penrith Panthers and NSW halfback Nathan Cleary is racing the clock to be fit after appearing to suffer a shoulder injury during NSW's 26-0 victory over Queensland.

The Panthers co-captain was visibly favouring his right shoulder after two separate incidents in the game that saw him requiring supportive strapping applied during the half time break.

Cleary has been fairly durable so far during his career and the five day turnaround will give him a fair chance at recovering to face the Eels on Friday night in front of what will now be an empty Penrith Stadium due to the Greater Sydney lockdown.

The question will be whether the Panthers choose to risk him or wrap in cotton wool in preparation for the finals.

Parramatta meanwhile are still assessing hooker Reed Mahoney who is on track for his own shoulder recovery.

Mahoney has repeatedly stated he will be ready for Penrith, although the Eels medical department has cautiously listed him for a round 18 return to give him the full benefit of both a week off and bye week, ensuring his fully fit for Parramatta's brutal run home.

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  • I hope Cleary plays and I hope Mahoney plays. We want to beat them with their best team on the park and our best team on the park, although with W Blake picked, it is hardly our best side.

    • Nar , I hope he's out . I know we have to beat them with him playing to say we can beat the top team , but I'm happy to address that at a later date . Maybe we can fluke it and they'll have an injured Cleary in September as well 😂

      • Damn straight.

      • If you fill your team with SOO stars you are going to have players unavailable around SOO 

  • I think an empty stadium will be better for us than them, they play a massive momentum game and the crowd plays a part in that, shaping up as a great game

  • I would be surpriswd if Cleary doesn't play. It is better to beat them at full strength anyway. As NBE said, I think it will be better for us with no crowd there. Get it done Parra.

  • Penrith don't need to prove anything right now. They can rest Cleary although risk the minor premiership:

    • Why would they risk the minor premiership when there is still 9 more rounds to go? They could lose a couple of games and still not risk it.

      • What is the minor premiership these days MontoEel?

        Apart from the cash reward (modest if I recall) is there really any difference between finishing first and second?

        • True, not what it used to be in terms of a great achievement. But I suppose its still considered something with the extra cash and the teams name in the history books. However, my comment in terms of the Panthers risking the minor premiership was more in terms of there are still 9 more rounds after this week so they're not really risking losing the minor premiership if the lose a couple of games.

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