Nathan Cleary avoids serious injury after nasty State of Origin clash

James Messenger

Clearly [left] alongside New South Wales and Penrith Panthers team-mate Jarome Luai

New South Wales half-back Nathan Cleary has been cleared of any serious injuries after suffering a nasty facial wound in Thursday’s 2021 State of Origin series opener. 

The 23-year-old required stitches at half-time after being left bloodied during the Blues’ emphatic 50-6 victory over Queensland in Townsville.

There were fears that the Penrith Panthers playmaker might’ve suffered structural damage to his cheek after colliding with the elbow of team-mate Tom Trbojevic, who scored a hat-trick in the game, but those worries have since been alleviated.

Cleary, who played a pivotal role for the Blues during their dominant display in Origin I, is still set to sit out this weekend’s NRL clash with Cronulla Sharks having already returned to club duty.

The Maroons will be hoping to level the series when they meet again at Suncorp Stadium later this month.