The Penrith Panthers are believed to have suffered a major blow on the road to the finals, with Jarome Luai set to be ruled out for up to eight weeks.

The star five-eighth, who only recently played alongside Nathan Cleary for the NSW Blues, has been immense for the club this season.

Reports first emerged on Monday afternoon via a photo, courtesy of local journalist Peter Lang, of the Panthers’ livewire five-eighth Jarome Luai in a knee brace, with confirmation that the St Marys junior is currently being monitored and was due to go for scans.

The Daily Telegraph are now reporting that Luai could be out for up to eight weeks with the knee injury.

With only six weeks remaining in the regular season, it could mean Luai doesn't play again before the finals, and will be racing the clock to be fit in time for Setpember.

The dynamic playmaker has been under fire recently for his antics during the State of Origin series, but he’s let his footy do the talking, most recently scoring the match-winning try in Penrith’s high-stakes clash with Cronulla last weekend.

Coincidentally, Luai also suffered a medial ligament injury in July last year during a match with this weekend’s opponents, with the five-eighth forced into a knee brace.

The Panthers will be hungry for revenge after the Eels handed them what has been their only defeat of the season so far – a two-point loss back in Round 9.

The Panthers were also lucky to emerge with a victory in the previous meeting, a controversial two-point win in the 2021 semi-finals.

Should Luai be unavailable, Sean O’Sullivan will likely come into the starting team beside Nathan Cleary. O’Sullivan has deputised excellently for the club during the State of Origin period and was also vital to the Panthers’ perfect start to the year, replacing Cleary while he was recovering from shoulder surgery.

Kurt Falls is also an option, having impressed in his two NRL outings at five-eighth during the Origin period.