Penrith Panthers star halfback and skipper Nathan Cleary has suffered an injury setback as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Cleary is still a couple of weeks away from making his return and is racing the clock against the Wests Tigers in Bathurst next week.

This comes after he hasn't progressed as fast as the club would have liked. Instead, Cleary will return the following round to take on the North Queensland Cowboys.

The two-time Clive Churchill Medal winner sustained a hamstring injury against the Brisbane Broncos earlier this season in the 2023 Grand Final rematch.

It was his second hamstring injury in recent times after he was ruled out of the final two State of Origin games last year with a left hamstring strain.

The reports from the Herald come after the star halfback's latest update happened at the end of March.

“Yep... we play Manly this week and then we have a bye,” Cleary said on Channel 9 when asked about the injury at the end of March.

“It's a little hammy tear. It's definitely not the same as (last year). “It's probably what happened before I did the actual tear last year, it's really minor. It's the other leg as well.

“It's a conversation with the physio and how to manage it properly. If it was a grand final last week I could have played. It's about managing the workload around extras and kicking. It's something I never had to worry about growing up, I enjoyed doing it.

“Last year, I started to pick up a few niggles here and there. It's more so the mental reps now and plan my week with that.”