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Hurt shoulder likely to delay Foran return

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/03/2017

All eyes will be firmly trained on the Warriors' team sheet on Tuesday ahead of the potential return to action of Kieran Foran.

The 26-year-old is finally eligible to make his club debut in Friday's round three clash with the Bulldogs, having received full clearance from the NRL to return to the field on Saturday.

The former Kiwis linchpin left the Parramatta Eels midway through last season to address personal issues, before linking up with the Warriors in September.

He has not taken to the field since leading the Eels out and suffering a torn bicep tendon in their 20-18 win over Newcastle on May 30.

Yet despite being eligible to play, the five-eighth is unlikely to do so as he continues to work his way back from a long-term shoulder injury.

Contrary to previous statements by Warriors boss Stephen Kearney, Foran is yet to partake in full contact training with his teammates.

He admitted on Saturday he was more likely to debut for the Warriors in round four against the Dragons or round five against the Titans, making his inclusion in Tuesday's extended 21-man team list improbable.

"We're making ground each week and I've got a big couple of weeks coming up with it," Foran said.

"Hopeful of playing in the next couple of weeks - but if it's not round three, it'll be one of the weeks very soon after that."

In the meantime, young gun Ata Hingano will continue to wear the No.6 jumper.

Also in doubt for Friday's match in Dunedin is skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who didn't return from the half-time break in last Friday's loss to Melbourne.

The 23-year-old fullback suffered a head knock late in the first half in Auckland and could be seen struggling to pick himself back up.

He will undergo concussion protocols over the course of the week before being confirmed in the matchday XVII.

If he cannot pass those tests, it is likely veteran winger Manu Vatuvei will return to the side after two games in reserve grade, with Tui Lolohea moving to fullback.

Front rower Charlie Gubb, meanwhile, was hit with a grade-one dangerous contact charge against Melbourne's Suliasi Vunivalu but will line up against the Bulldogs with an early guilty plea.

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