Rugby League

All clear for Cleary after hospital visit as Luai tests dislocated shoulder

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Panthers star Nathan Cleary has been cleared of a finger injury after being sent to hospital for scans, as halves partner Jarome Luai completed his first contact drills since dislocating his shoulder.

Penrith officials confirmed Cleary was taken to hospital for precautionary scans after pulling out of training on Monday morning.

The star halfback returned to Panthers HQ later in the day to resume preparations for Friday’s preliminary final against Melbourne.

The club is confident Cleary will take his place for the back-to-back premiers after being cleared of any break or serious injury, and will be available for their next main training session on Wednesday.

Luai was also put through his paces on Monday morning, testing out his shoulder in contact drills for the first time in a month.

The 26-year-old is trying to return just four weeks after his shoulder popped out in the Panthers’ round 26 loss to Parramatta, with Monday’s session crucial to his return.

Penrith will assess Luai’s recovery from the session on Tuesday. A call on his availability is unlikely to be made until later in the week.

Back-up half Jack Cogger has performed admirably in Luai’s absence and will replace the Samoan and NSW playmaker if needed.

Centre Izack Tago also continues to recover from a pectoral strain that ruled him out of Penrith’s finals week one win over the Warriors. He took part in contact training on Monday, but is considered less likely than Luai to play against Melbourne.

The Storm are sweating on the fitness of their own star half Jahrome Hughes, who missed the last-gasp elimination final win over the Roosters on Friday night due to a calf problem.

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