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Foran's focus on shoulder rehab

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/11/2016

New Warriors coach Stephen Kearney says high-profile signing Kieran Foran is looking like a new man as he works his way back to fitness following shoulder surgery.

Foran has committed to the Warriors on a one-year deal for the 2017 season, after leaving Parramatta in July due to personal issues.

But there is no guarantee he will return to the NRL next year because of off field issues.

His contract has to be ratified by the NRL, and chief executive Todd Greenberg has said the integrity unit's investigation is likely to be lengthy.

However, Kearney is relaxed about the whole process, saying the club's focus, and Foran's, is centred on rehabilitation.

"I met Kieran three months ago, and to see him then and to see him now - he's a totally different-looking Kieran to me," Kearney told media on Thursday.

"It's a long journey for him, but at the moment he's in a good place and he's got a real smile on his face."

Kearney said Foran's recovery from major surgery was being carefully managed.

"There's a fair few boxes to tick, and once he's gone through that process hopefully we'll see him out on the training paddock.

"We'll try and get him out here before Christmas - he won't be doing full training, just getting into the running side of things," Kearney said.

"He wants to play tomorrow, but he understands he's got a fair few hoops to jump through before that is the case."

There's no chance Foran will be available for the Auckland Nines tournament on Waitangi weekend, but - pending NRL approval - Kearney is confident the Auckland-born playmaker will line up for the Warriors when the NRL kicks off in March.

"I'd be pretty anxious if the competition started next week and we had no decision on his situation," the former Kiwis coach said.

"But kickoff is the first weekend of March ... I'm not getting stressed at the moment."

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