SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Brian To'o (R) of the Panthers looks on from the bench during the round two NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on March 18, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Penrith may have escaped Kogarah with the two-points on Friday night, however, the reigning premiers bus trip back west was made with a pair of hampered stars onboard after James Fisher-Harris and Brian To'o completed the Round 2 clash against the Dragons under separate injury clouds.

While a Spencer Leniu try in the 31st minute and a Viliame Kikau double ahead of half-time were enough to see Ivan Cleary's charges claim a 20-16 win, the Panthers will still be forced to lick wounds ahead of their upcoming fixture against Newcastle next Thursday night.

Despite his side failing to trouble the scorers in the second half and seeing his premiership-winning pair head to the bench, Cleary was spared the need to deliver a total dressing down in the dressing sheds post-game.

However, when speaking to the media following the final hooter, the 51-year-old was frank about the star winger's knee injury and his key prop's shoulder complaint.

“Bit of carnage today,” Cleary said.

“Fisher-Harris is a shoulder, don’t know how bad but didn’t feel like he could go back on.

“Brian has done something to his knee. Not good. But that’s the situation we’re in, hopefully, we get some decent (scan) results tomorrow."

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With results from said scans yet to be made public, the extent, and potential layoff, for both To'o and Fisher-Harris is not yet known.

Still, Penrith fans can put a line through elite playmaker Nathan Cleary making his 2022 return next Saturday afternoon, with the half's father claiming the 24-year-old still had some boxes left to tick in his shoulder rehabilitation.

“Nah, not next week, two weeks, that’s still the plan,” Ivan said of his Clive Churchill Medal-winning offspring's comeback.

Despite the possibility that Penrith could well be without three vital cogs for their date with the Knights in Bathurst, the mere fact that the 2-0 claw has not lost a regular-season contest since Round 20 of last season is sure to still see them enter as favourites.

Kick-off is scheduled for 3:00 pm at Carrington Park next Saturday.