Star Eels recruit Kieran Foran has revealed an off-season hamstring strain kept him to just two ball-work sessions ahead of his first hit-out in Eels colours – the club's final trial against Penrith on Saturday night – but says he is 100 per cent ready to go for Round 1.
Foran strained a hammy in Round 1 last year – coincidentally at Pirtek Stadium against the Eels – which put him out for three games and continued to trouble him through the season.
Coach Brad Arthur said he has managed Foran through this pre-season while the new team captain himself said his combinations with his new clubmates will need to develop further in the two weeks until the side's Round 1 season opener against Brisbane at Pirtek Stadium.
"We've really been careful with 'Foz' with his training load and making sure we've got him fit and strong, so he hasn't done a heap of ball-work with the boys and really, two sessions this week and he's done bits and pieces throughout but two sessions this week," Arthur said after the 22-8 win over Penrith.
Foran said he thought the whole side was a little rusty in what was their first hit-out with not just himself but fellow new recruits Michael Jennings, Michael Gordon and Beau Scott.
"It was a bit rusty tonight, I think both teams would agree with that but it was nice to get out there amongst the boys. I think everyone enjoyed the hit-out together and we'll be better for it," Foran said.
The former Manly playmaker confirmed he hadn't taken part in many ball-work sessions in the pre-season.
"Myself, I've been sort of in and out of training with a hamstring injury so I haven't been training with the boys at all apart from this week," he said.
"In terms of the side that went out there [against Penrith], we've had limited time to prepare and it probably looked like that. Give ourselves two weeks now leading into Round 1, clicking and combinations gelling but I think it'll take time.
"There are a lot of new players here. As long as our attitude's right now and our defensive effort's there we'll be happy."
He said his hamstring came through the trial with no problems.
"I'm really good. The body is – I'm on top of everything. Body's feeling really good so fingers crossed I can have an injury free year," he said.