Nathan Cleary in Game I doubt as Blues hit with injury drama

The Kangaroos halfback has been hit with a worrying set back.

Nathan Cleary watches on after losing State of Origin.
Nathan Cleary (pictured) is a doubt for State of Origin Game I after a scare in the Blues camp. (Getty Images)

The New South Wales Blues have been hit with a further injury concerns with Nathan Cleary emerging as a doubt for Game I only hours after Latrell Mitchel was ruled out. Brad Fittler and the Blues were rocked on Monday when star centre Mitchell was ruled out of Game I after suffering a calf injury during training.

Fittler brought Stephen Crichton into the fold with Matt Burton joining as 18th man. However, in what could be a worrying sign, Blues officials are monitoring halfback Cleary as he suffers from a tooth infection.

SCARY: Harawira-Naera gives update after horrifying on-field collapse

BAFFLING: NRL fans erupt over confusing Bunker farce in Eels penalty

The Penrith halfback is reportedly struggling and Fittler has placed Nicho Hynes on standby for Wednesday night in Adelaide. Losing the Kangaroos halfback for Game I would be a mighty blow for the Blues with Hynes yet to make his Origin debut.

Cleary is still expected to play, but the team are monitoring his progress. Losing Cleary and Mitchell two days out from game day would disrupt Fittler's preparation in a must-win series for the coach.

The news follows a brutal blow for the Blues as Mitchell went down with a calf injury during Blues training and has been ruled out of the game on Wednesday. There is no timeline on his return, but NRL Physio Brien Seeney reported a low grade calf injury will ruled him out for 1-3 weeks.

This will most likely see the Rabbitohs fullback return for Game II. This follows his Rabbitohs teammate Campbell Graham also pulling out of the squad with injury.

“Mitchell sustained the injury at training and scans later revealed a strain which would prevent him playing,” a statement from NSW Rugby League read. “Mitchell will be replaced by 18th man Stephen Crichton and did not travel with the team to Adelaide today.”

Fans were left concerned over Cleary's scare with the halfback one of the first names on Fittler's team sheet when announcing the squad.

Marrons No.9 Ben Hunt weighed-in on the news of Mitchell and said it was a big blow for the Blues. “I just heard as I was coming off the field for training, I don’t think anything changes for us obviously he is a big loss for them,” Hunt said.

“Our focus has always been on what we can do... he definitely brought a lot of strike to their left edge and there’s no secrets about what Latrell can do."

Payne Haas fit for Origin I

In better news, Payne Haas was able to get through training on the weekend without too much of an issue after sending a scare through the Blues camp last week. The Broncos prop - who currently leads the NRL's Dally M Medal count - rolled his ankle in a practice session on Friday morning.

Haas was seen limping off Sydney's Coogee Oval to seek medical treatment midway through the session. The 23-year-old wrecking ball was later seen with leg raised and an ice pack applied to the injured area.

However, there appears to be less concern for the forward after Haas was able to run on the injury a few days out from Game I.

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.