Canterbury five-eighth Kieran Foran plans to focus on overcoming a toe injury that prevented him from returning in the second half of Saturday’s 28-22 loss to St George Illawarra before making any decision about his playing future beyond this season.
The New Zealand international will undergo scans to determine the extent of the damage but fears he may have suffered a recurrence of the injury that ended his 2018 season after requiring surgery to have ligaments in a toe in his left foot reconstructed.
Foran came to the sideline midway through the first half of Saturday’s match at WIN Stadium for an assessment and returned to the field before being forced off for a HIA after a high tackle by Dragons second-rower Tariq Sims in the 38th minute.
Despite passing the HIA, he did not return in the second half and watched as Canterbury conceded three tries in the final 15 minutes to blow a 22-10 lead in the first game under interim coach Steve Georgallis.
“I felt my toe, I was a bit concerned because I had surgery on it back in 2018 and it was a similar feeling to when I did it then,” Foran said.
Match Highlights: Dragons v Bulldogs
“It was pretty score so I will get scans tonight and see how it is.
"Since I had it fixed up in 2018 I haven’t had any dramas with it but I pivoted off my left foot midway through that first half and as I came off my left I felt it click, which is what I felt back in 2018.
“I hope I am wrong and I am just being overcautious. It wasn’t the best way to finish the night.”
Re-live the final minutes of Dragons-Bulldogs
The star playmaker is off contract at the end of the season and after an injury-plagued three-year stint with Canterbury it is likely he will need to take a pay cut if he stays at the club.
However, Foran said the main focus now was his short-term playing future and he hoped to be able to help the Bulldogs their season around after just one win in round four against the Dragons.
“My priority will be the injury and making sure I am right. Once I know what I have got to deal with on the injury front then I can make some calls regarding next year,” he said.
“It’s not the best time, it’s been the story of the last few years for me and I’ve learned to deal with it and get on with. Fingers crossed it is not that bad.”
Meaney scores from the scrum as the Bulldogs take the lead
While it was a frustrating end to a difficult week, Foran said there had been some encouraging signs to take out of the match after the Bulldogs fought their way back from an early 10-0 deficit.
“We were very confident at half-time, we started terribly again but managed to fight our way back and we were really upbeat at the break,” Foran said.
“I thought the boys went out there with a stack of energy in the second half but we just made it too hard on ourselves.”