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Cleary named but unsure of injury return

Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues halfback Nathan Cleary was today named in an extended squad for the Penrith Panthers but remains uncertain about when he will return from a shoulder injury.

Cleary played a crucial role in helping NSW reclaim the Ampol State of Origin Shield but has been sidelined since Game Two after dislocating his shoulder.

The Panthers elected to postpone surgery for the injury in the hope that Cleary could return to the field after rehabilitation and still play a role for the club’s premiership charge.

“I honestly don’t have a set return date yet, rehab’s going really well, but there’s still a few boxes to tick before I can get back out on the field and feel fully confident,” Cleary told Channel Nine.

“Hopefully it’s within the next few weeks.”

In better news for Penrith, NSW lock Isaah Yeo (concussion) and hooker Api Koroisau (suspension) will return for Saturday’s match against the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium.

The Panthers are sitting in second position and face the Roosters, St George Illawarra Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers and Parramatta Eels in the run home to the finals.

They are also missing Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues winger Brian To’o (ankle), and regular first graders James Fisher-Harris (personal) and Stephen Crichton (suspension).