Blow for Bull­dogs as Fo­ran out for sea­son

Mercury (Hobart) - - NRL, PARA WORLDS, LAWN BOWLS -

CAN­TER­BURY has suf­fered a huge blow be­fore the 2020 NRL sea­son with con­fir­ma­tion star five-eighth Kieran Fo­ran is ex­pected to miss the en­tire cam­paign.

Fo­ran un­der­went a shoul­der re­con­struc­tion on Tues­day af­ter he was in­jured play­ing for New Zealand at the start of this month, and the club has con

PAMELA WHA­LEY

firmed fur­ther dam­age was found. The 29-year-old will have more surgery and re­cov­ery is ex­pected to be be­tween nine and 12 months, which would rule him out of the en­tire 2020 sea­son.

“Kieran Fo­ran yes­ter­day un­der­went re-con­struc­tive surgery on his in­jured shoul­der,” a club state­ment read.

“The surgery re­vealed that there was new and ad­di­tional dam­age to the shoul­der that will re­quire Kieran to un­dergo fur­ther surgery later this month.”

It’s a huge blow for not only their on-field as­pi­ra­tions, but has mas­sive im­pli­ca­tions for the salary cap with Fo­ran be­lieved to be on a deal worth more than $1mil­lion for 2020.

The Bull­dogs will al­most cer­tainly ap­ply for salary cap dis­pen­sa­tion un­der NRL rules; a max­i­mum of $350,000 of re­lief can be granted if a player is in­jured while on rep­re­sen­ta­tive duty and misses a min­i­mum of 12 games.

How­ever, given the size of Fo­ran’s con­tract, any re­lief will not cover his salary.

Fo­ran is con­tracted with the Bull­dogs un­til the end of next sea­son but has played just 26 games for the club over the past two years as he bat­tled var­i­ous in­juries. Across the past four sea­sons he has av­er­aged just 13 games per year.

Med­i­cal re­tire­ment for the in­jury-prone star could also be com­pli­cated given he could re­turn to the field in 2021 with the right re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. How­ever, the Bull­dogs could seek fur­ther med­i­cal opin­ions to as­sess whether Fo­ran would be able to play in the fu­ture with­out risk­ing more dam­age.

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