- Cleary is enjoying a very busy offseason after grand final
- Star was pictured in intimate moments with Mary Fowler
- Couple said farewells when she returned to England
Panthers fans will be pleased to see premiership winning hero Nathan Cleary finally out of his knee brace after suffering a suspected ligament tear during the NRL grand final.
The superstar halfback injured his knee just nine minutes into the decider when Broncos wrecking ball Payne Haas executed a hip drop tackle on him, for which he has since been fined.
Forced to essentially play the rest of the match on one leg, the playmaker dragged his side back from the brink of disaster and masterminded the greatest comeback in NRL grand final history.
The suspected tear in his posterior cruciate ligament – one the of the ligaments that connect the thighbone to the shinbone – kept Cleary out of the Kangaroos’ Pacific Championship series.
Last week, Cleary was pictured with new romantic interest and Matildas star Mary Fowler in a Perth park – and was still wearing the PCL brace over his injured joint.
Cleary was pictured wearing the knee brace on November 1 when he caught up with Matildas star girlfriend Mary Fowler in Perth
The NRL star was again spotted wearing the brace as he ambled through Sydney airport after saying goodbye to Fowler on Friday morning.
On Wednesday, Drink West – the beer brand founded by Cleary and Sydney-based UFC stars Tai Tuivasa and Tyson Pedro – released a series of videos to Instagram showing Cleary finally out of the brace.
In the video clips – which look to have been filmed during the production of a commercial for the brewery – Cleary can be seen sitting in the back of a ute, posing with fans and pouring beers at the Drink West brewery.
Physiotherapist Brien Seeney, known as the NRL Physio on social media, believes Cleary has most likely suffered a moderate to high-grade PCL tear.
In a clip posted to social media, Seeney says Cleary should get even more plaudits for his heroics in the grand final and the historic 16-point comeback that will go down in footy folklore.
‘For him to do what he did, in particularly in the last half an hour, but just to play out the whole game with that injury and to perform like he did,’ said Seeney.
‘He would have had to have gone in at half time with that injury and cooled down – and that’s when it’s going to be really painful, it’s going to swell up a little bit.
‘Then he’s going to have to go out there. Yeo’s off, Luai’s off, all these things that we know.
Cleary was still in the brace last Friday when he returned to Sydney from Perth
The superstar halfback played most of the NRL grand final with the knee injury
Cleary had also badly dislocated the ring finger on his left hand before the preliminary final
‘But to do all that with whatever this injury is, and it sounds like a moderate to high grade PCL injury, is just…
‘It probably won’t get the fanfare that a broken face from Sam Burgess or a fractured shoulder blade form Cooper Cronk did. But I think it’s a bit underappreciated.’
Following the grand final, Cleary also posted a photo on social media of the dislocated finger that he suffered on the eve of the preliminary final.
Cleary’s right ring finger was injured badly after it was hit by a football at training, but he still played and steered Penrith to beat rivals Melbourne.
The playmaker then strapped the injured finger for the decider with Brisbane and delivered the finest final 20 minutes from any player in history.