3 Nov 2016

Kearney impressed by Foran

3:54 pm on 3 November 2016

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney reckons superstar signing Kieran Foran is looking like a new man.

Kieran Foran.

Kieran Foran. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Foran has committed to the Warriors on a one-year deal for the 2017 season, after leaving Parramatta in July due to personal issues.

But there is no guarantee he will return to the NRL next year because of off- field issues.

His contract has to be ratified by the NRL, and chief executive Todd Greenberg has stated the integrity unit's investigation is likely to be lengthy.

However Kearney is relaxed about the whole process, saying the club's focus, and Foran's, is centred on his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery.

"I met Kieran three months ago and to see him then and to see him now - he's a totally different-looking Kieran to me," Kearney said.

"It's a long journey for him, but at the moment he's in a good place and he's got a real smile on his face."

Kearney said Foran's recovery from major surgery was being carefully managed.

"There's a fair few boxes to tick and once he's gone through that process hopefully we'll see him out on the training paddock," he said.

"We'll try and get him out here before Christmas - he won't be doing full training, just getting into the running side of things.

"He wants to play tomorrow but he understands he's got a fair few hoops to jump through before that is the case."

There's no chance Foran will be available for the Auckland Nines tournament in February, but - pending NRL approval - Kearney is confident the Auckland-born playmaker will line up for the Warriors when the season proper kicks off in March.

"I'd be pretty anxious if the competition started next week and we had no decision on his situation," the former Kiwis coach said.

"But kickoff is the first weekend of March ... I'm not getting stressed at the moment."