Panthers breath easy as Luai cleared of knee injury

Jasper Bruce |

Jarome Luai is a chance of facing the Tigers despite being injured in the Panthers’ loss to Manly.
Jarome Luai is a chance of facing the Tigers despite being injured in the Panthers’ loss to Manly.

Penrith look set to have their first-choice halves combination back for their next game after scans cleared Jarome Luai of a knee injury.

During the first half of Penrith’s 32-18 loss to Manly on Saturday, Jaxson Paulo and Ben Trbojevic crunched Luai in a two-man tackle as the five-eighth attempted to defuse a kick.

Play stopped so trainers could attend to Luai’s left knee in the in-goal.

While Luai was initially able to continue, the Panthers substituted him out of the game with 12 minutes to play.

Coach Ivan Cleary was optimistic about Luai’s prognosis immediately after the game and scans have since revealed no damage.

Luai returned to Penrith’s gym on Tuesday to train on his day off.

The news is a welcome boost for the Panthers, who struggled without talismanic halfback Nathan Cleary against the Sea Eagles last week.

The Panthers have been hopeful since Cleary suffered his hamstring injury in March that their co-captain could return to play after their round-six bye.

Second-rower Scott Sorensen will also be in the frame for their next match against Wests Tigers on April 20.

The New Zealand international suffered a minor knee injury in last month’s win over Brisbane but has been targeting a round-seven return.

AAP