Premiership winning Penrith hero Nathan Cleary has shared a graphic image of the finger he dislocated during a training session before his team’s preliminary final win over Melbourne Storm adding to the magnitude of his grand final winning deeds.
Holding his hand up to the camera, the 25-year-old’s ring finger on his right hand is shown to be bent unnaturally to the side above his first knuckle.
He shared the picture on Instagram on Monday, alongside many other pictures he had taken last month in the wake of guiding Penrith to a third-straight NRL premiership win.
Fans were quick to comment about the injury, one even saying it “should’ve come with a trigger warning”.
Cleary was taken to hospital for scans after suffering the injury at training sending a massive scare through the Penrith camp midway through their finals campaign.
However, Cleary’s finger was successfully “realigned” and he went on to face Melbourne Storm several days later in the preliminary final, and the grand final.
Cleary not only carried the serious finger injury in to the decider, he also suffered a knee injury early in the first half before going on to almost single-handedly help the Panthers come from behind to secure a stunning 26-4 victory over the Brisbane Broncos.
The superstar halfback won a second Clive Churchill medal for his performance, which included setting up two tries and scoring the matchwinner in an all-time grand final performance.
“I remember feeling at the time [that] it felt a bit weird. I didn’t take the conversion not long after that,” Cleary said of his knee injury.
“We just sort of [kept] getting it checked out. And then I could feel it through the game, but I wasn’t too sore. Adrenaline pumping. But then the next day afterwards, it was a struggle to walk around.”
Cleary’s knee injury was then severe enough to rule him out of playing for the Kangaroos in the Pacific Championship.