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Friday, September 22, 2023

Billy Slater on Nathan Cleary Penrith Panthers finger injury; referee Ashley Klein axed

Billy Slater says Nathan Cleary will be able to play through the pain of a finger injury, but it’s “not ideal” ahead of Friday’s preliminary final.

Cleary left training on Monday and went to hospital for scans, but has been given the all-clear to play.

“We’re in the media where we’re running out of stuff to talk about, so this stuff is really exciting to talk about,” Slater told Nine’s The Billy Slater Podcast.

“This could be a storm in a teacup, but at the same time it’s far from ideal.

“It is just a finger – you can strap it up and play on – but you’ve still got to play with that, that’s uncomfortable to play with.

“Heading into a preliminary final, for the guy who touches the ball more than anyone else in the team and relies on his skill, it’s less than ideal to have a finger injury like this this close to a big game.

“At the same time it was only a couple of years ago that Nathan Cleary won an NRL premiership carrying a shoulder injury. We know his toughness and we know this isn’t going to affect him too much.”

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