Kieran Foran is only weeks away from what many hope is the end of a luckless run of injuries but the latest setback hasn't wavered his stance on playing representative footy in the future.
While Foran's main priority was made clear on Thursday morning – the goal of returning to the game, playing injury-free, and to "give back to Canterbury" – any thoughts of giving up the Kiwis jersey as a sacrifice was not something he would consider.
The 29-year-old five-eighth suffered his latest shoulder injury while playing for the Kiwis in November with the Bulldogs receiving a $350,000 compensation payout from the NRL to help ease the playmaker's absence.
"I'm completely committed to Test footy," Foran said.
"Being a New Zealander, the hunger never dies away of wanting to represent the Kiwis.
"That's the top of our game and it was just an unfortunate injury I copped in that Test match.
"My love for the New Zealand jumper and my desire to represent the Kiwis hasn't died one bit. But my complete focus at the moment is to perform week-in-week-out for Canterbury."
When asked what was still driving Foran, who will notch his 200th NRL appearance when he does take the field again this season, he said the willingness to give back to the Belmore club, rather than money or the desire to earn a new deal were driving factors.
Foran's contract expires at the end of this season, while coach Dean Pay has left the door open for former Bulldogs fan favourite, Wests Tigers playmaker Josh Reynolds to return.
"I've got a lot of lost time to make up for," Foran said.
"It's been a difficult couple of years here. I've had a wretched run and the frustrating thing from my side is since I've arrived at Canterbury I've never looked after myself better, physically and mentally.
"You'd think if you were doing that you would be less of a chance with injury but unfortunately in my case the better I looked after myself the more I got injuries.
"Personally, I would say I'm in the best physical shape I've been in for three or four years, just with the sheer amount of work I've had to do in the short time and how hard I've had to go to get myself right.
"My motivation is to be at my absolute best for the club and be able to play every single week."
Foran needs to get through the next fortnight of contact training in a bid to convince the club's performance staff he's fit enough to make a return in round three, beginning on May 28.
"If all things go to plan and I get through all contact that is required I'll be ready for selection," Foran said.
"As it stands today I haven't missed a contact session. The shoulder is feeling great, obviously it's a slow process the first few months with rehab work inside the gym.
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"The last couple of months I've really ramped things up and lifting a lot heavier weights in the gym and feeling really confident.
"When we first did it, I sat down with the performance guys here and in my mind I wanted to aim for round 12, that was my goal, we weren't sure if that was a bit ambitious at the time, but that was what I wanted to set out for.
"If all things go to plan, I'll have hit that goal."