Nathan Cleary spent almost six hours in hospital being treated for cellulitis before crushing the Rabbitohs on Thursday night.
Cleary sported a mysterious bandage and clear bump in between his eyes only hours after being in doubt for the clash.
Now it has been revealed that the Panthers star halfback spent six hours in Nepean hospital on Wednesday with cellulitis.
It is a common and potentially serious bacterial skin infection which can appear swollen and red.
Foxsports.com.au understand Cleary could not open his eyes during the week and that there were fears the infection could have spread to his brain.
The 22-year old declined all interviews post-game.
Cleary’s bump seemed to get bigger throughout the match as he had an uncharacteristically poor night off the boot.
The Penrith halfback had kicked 15 from 16 goals to start the season.
The Panthers scored the first two tries of the game but Cleary was unable to convert either, the first hitting the posts while he narrowly missed the second, much easier attempt.
His third attempt off a Dylan Edwards’ try was the worst of the lot.
only the second time in his career cleary has missed 3 goals
— Aaron Wallace (@wallyscr) June 25, 2020
Usually dependable with the kicking tee, it had the Fox League panel at halftime questioning if the bandage for the cellulitis had something to do with it.
“I don’t know if he has double vision but he shanked two conversions which is very un-Nathan like,” Yvonne Sampson said.
“I think he came into tonight’s game at 94 per cent,” Ennis said.
“He’d only missed one, he’d kicked 15 from 16 to start the season and seems to be distracted.
“The first one was a tough kick, the second one not so much for Nathan. He seems to be sporting a big bump in between the eyes.
“It’s certainly visible.”
It did not seem to be impacting Cleary in any other way though as the Panthers halfback steered the side around brilliantly in the victory.
Cleary finished with a try, linebreak and 573 kicking metres.
His kicking game in particularly was flawless as he constantly turned the Rabbitohs around and forced two dropouts.
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