Paul Gallen
Paul Gallen Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images

Injured Gallen hoping to mend in time for first Origin game

CRONULLA and NSW captain Paul Gallen should be available for the first State of Origin match on June 5 after being cleared of a serious knee injury.

Gallen limped off after just three minutes in Sunday's match against Newcastle, inspiring his teammates to an unlikely win, but sending a scare through the Blues camp.

Scans yesterday revealed Gallen had suffered a medial ligament strain in his right knee, rather than a tear which would have sidelined him for up to six weeks.

Coach Shane Flanagan said he hoped his inspirational skipper would miss a maximum of three weeks, but added Gallen would not be rushed back.

"If he's not 100% fit we won't be playing him," Flanagan said.

The Sharks play West Tigers on Friday night, and while Gallen has not been ruled out, the club issued a statement saying he was "unlikely to be fit" for the clash.