Foran injury blow spells disaster for Dogs
CANTERBURY have been dealt a massive blow after revelations $1 million playmaker Kieran Foran has been ruled out for the entire 2020 NRL season following surgery on his injured shoulder.
Surgeons have informed the Kiwi Test five-eighth he will require two operations before he can return to the game in a minimum 12-month time frame.
The injury has put the Bulldogs on a collision course with the NRL over salary cap relief.
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Foran underwent shoulder reconstruction surgery on Tuesday and had originally hoped it would only keep him out for six months. But surgeons discovered he also needed work on his rotator cuff and have planned for him to go under the knife again later this month.
"At this stage the rehabilitation period for recovery has been estimated as being between 9 and 12 months," the Bulldogs said in a statement on Wednesday morning.
The Bulldogs are now set for a showdown with the NRL over salary cap compensation.
Foran is on a $1 million-a-season contract but under NRL rules, there is a limit of only $350,000 salary cap relief to replace players injured in representative football.
Foran suffered the injury while attempting to tackle James Graham in New Zealand's Test against Great Britain earlier this month.
Foran cannot be medically retired because he wants to play on in 12 months time.
It leaves the Bulldogs with a $650,000 salary cap shortfall with the potential of having just over a third of Foran's wage available to them to sign a replacement.
Canterbury fan favourite Lachlan Lewis last week extended his stay at the club until the end of 2021, and now the 23-year-old is set to form an inexperienced partnership with Jack Cogger.
Foran recently said he had no intentions of hanging up the boots.
"It could be six months or longer if they find more problems. They'll open it up, have a good look and decide what to do," he said.
"There's no way in the world I'm going to quit football.
"I'm going to fight on. I'm 29 and I've always thought I had another three years in me."
It is the same shoulder that required surgery in 2016. It is a particularly hard blow in that Foran's million-dollar contract is up at the end of the season.
Foran has averaged only 13 games per season over the last four years at the Parramatta Eels, the Warriors and the Bulldogs.