The NRL has agreed to register the contract of Kieran Foran to play with the New Zealand Warriors this season.
However, Foran will not be permitted to play until Round Three and his return is subject to a further psychological assessment to ensure he is in the right frame of mind to play in the NRL.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and Warriors Managing Director Jim Doyle said they had worked closely over the last four months on a rehabilitation programme to help Foran overcome the problems which saw him drop out of the game last year, when he was a Parramatta player.
“I have always said that my priority is ensuring Kieran’s wellbeing – and his football career is secondary,” said Greenberg.
“The expert advice we recently received indicates that Kieran’s recovery has reached the point where he is physically and mentally fit to return to Rugby League.
“Consequently, we have today registered his contract to play with the Warriors in 2017.
“However, we want to be doubly sure that Kieran is in the right state of mind and have therefore decided to defer his return to the NRL until Round Three so a further psychological assessment can be made.
“Kieran will only be allowed to play again in the NRL if that assessment is positive. Conditions will also be placed on his contract relating to integrity matters following the review of his gambling associations last year.”
Doyle said Foran had made significant progress since joining the Vodafone Warriors last year and the club continues to provide internal and external support.
“Naturally, we are keen to see Kieran back on the field as soon as possible but we have always shared the NRL’s view that the most important thing is to ensure Kieran is mentally and physically ready for the demands of the NRL,” added Doyle.
“We have seen Kieran’s progress over the last few months and we are confident he will be ready for Round Three.
“Kieran has already become an integral part of the Warriors squad off the field and his team mates will be thrilled to see him back on the field.”
Foran said he was delighted that his contract had been registered.
“Naturally I would love to return in Round One because I love Rugby League and I love being part of the Warriors squad,” he said.
“But both the Warriors and NRL have put my welfare first throughout so I am just happy that my contract is registered and I now have a date for my return.”