SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Nathan Cleary of the Panthers sits on the bench after being substituted with an injury during the round three NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Panthers at ANZ Stadium on March 23, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Penrith's NRL season has suffered a massive blow with scans revealing star halfback Nathan Cleary will be sidelined for an extended period.

Cleary was injured during the first half of the Panthers loss to the Bulldogs last night and did not return to the field after halftime.

It was first reported that Cleary had suffered a grade one medial ligament strain which has an expected recovery of one to four weeks.

Scans have now revealed grade three medial ligament damage and Cleary will likely spend ten weeks on the sidelines while he recovers.

The Panthers will be left scrambling to find a partner for James Maloney, with Tyrone May not expected to be fit until at least Round 5.

The club could shift Peter Wallace into the halves, with Sione Katoa playing hooker.


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