Blues' Cleary in doubt for Origin III

Injury has forced Nathan Cleary to miss the second half of NSW's 38-6 Origin II win over Queensland. (AAP)

NSW halfback Nathan Cleary has suffered an ankle injury in the Blues' game-two State of Origin win in Perth.

NSW halfback Nathan Cleary is in doubt for State of Origin III after suffering a suspected syndesmosis ankle injury in the Blues' game-two win in Perth.

Cleary played under duress for the final 10 minutes of the first half after an awkward tackle, and failed to take the field in the second half.

His possible absence for game three would almost certainly bring former Blues No.7 Mitchell Pearce back into contention for the decider in Sydney.

NSW coach Brad Fittler has his fingers crossed that the injury to Cleary isn't serious.

But with just 17 days until game three on July 10 in Sydney, Cleary faces a race against time.

"I think it's syndesmosis, whatever that means," Fittler said after his side's 38-6 triumph.

"Hopefully, it's on the lighter side. He played about seven minutes (after the injury) just hobbling around.

"We sent the message to come off. He looked up and knew he could give us that amount of minutes.

"He said at halftime he could go back on if we needed (him) to do a certain job. But I think it was quite obvious that he couldn't get around that well."

When asked whether Cleary's injury would bring Pearce into the selection picture, Fittler replied: "I haven't thought about that, although Wade Graham did a brilliant job (after coming on for Cleary). He was incredible."

Source AAP

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