Warriors coy on Foran injury progress
The Warriors were doing their very best to avoid answering any questions about Kieran Foran this week, as the star playmaker's planned NRL Telstra Premiership return looms near.
While Foran has been cleared by the NRL to make a return to the field Round 3, pending further psychological assessment, his recovery from 2016 shoulder surgery may see him remain unavailable for the time being.
Warriors back-rower Bunty Afoa told NRL.com that Foran was taking part in sections of the club's contact work and opposed sessions, but said it remained to be seen if he would be fit for the March 17 clash with the Bulldogs in Dunedin.
"'Foz' (Foran) has always been in and out, he does his rehab and then comes in and joins us for contact, and then goes into his own rehab or whatever conditioning he does, then will join the boys for 13-on-13 edge stuff," Afoa said ahead of Friday night's match against the Storm at Mount Smart Stadium.
"I don't know [when he will be up to full training], that is all up to him and how he feels his injury is going, all we can do is support him and help him.
"It will be exciting to see him playing alongside us... hopefully he comes back in Round 3 and can show [what he is capable of]."
Coach Stephen Kearney was less forthcoming when quizzed on the topic.
"If it's not next weekend it will certainly be pretty close," Kearney said.
"My energy is focussed in on Friday and what I need to do to get the team up…I am sure once that is out of the way I'll be happy to talk about the week after that."
Meanwhile the injured trio of Simon Mannering (neck), Issac Luke (ribs) and Charlie Gubb (concussion) all trained with the NRL side on Wednesday, but were not involved in contact work.
Mannering and Luke missed most of the second half against the Knights last week due to their injuries, while Gubb was taken from the field late in the 26-22 victory.
Kearney said while Mannering and Gubb were "good" chances of playing on Friday night, Luke remained in doubt.
"I think there is still a little bit more to get through for [Issac]," he said.
Uncapped rookie dummy-half Erin Clark is named on the bench should Luke be unavailable, while fellow hooker Jazz Tevaga is set to make his injury return for the club's reserve-grade side this weekend.