Penrith’s premiership hopes are hanging by a thread, with fears halfback Nathan Cleary’s shoulder injury could see him miss the rest of the season.

Cleary will miss the third State of Origin match after suffering the injury in New South Wales’ series-clinching win in Game Two.

The 23-year-old was hurt early in the match at Suncorp Stadium, playing through the pain for nearly 70 minutes. It’s believed he suffered a partial dislocation.

Nine’s Danny Weidler reports Cleary will miss the chance to guide the Blues to a rare series clean sweep.

But with the Origin series already wrapped up, of more concern will be his availability for Penrith for the rest of the 2021 season.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Cleary will see a shoulder specialist, after scans revealed a tear in the shoulder. Season-ending surgery hasn’t been ruled out.

Cleary’s absence from the New South Wales side for Game Three brings Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses and Souths’ Adam Reynolds into consideration for a spot in the Blues’ team.

Another option would be to switch Jarome Luai from five-eighth to halfback, and bring Jack Wighton off the bench into the starting line-up in the No.6 jersey.

More to come.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!