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Why Bulldogs could be denied Foran cap relief

Kieran Foran is so hellbent on recovering from his recent shoulder surgery that he could cost Canterbury any salary cap relief.

In a predicament that exposes a glaring unfairness in the NRL's system, the Bulldogs could be penalised for Foran's determination to recover from the shocking injury he suffered while playing for New Zealand.

While it was initially feared he could miss all of next ­season, Foran is telling people close to him that he has set himself a target to be back playing by June at the latest, but possibly at some stage in May.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, clubs are only entitled to a maximum of $350,000 in cap relief for a player injured while on representative duty if the player has been sidelined for at least 12 NRL games.

 

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Kieran Foran wants to be back playing by June. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Kieran Foran wants to be back playing by June. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

Foran's timeline would potentially have him back on the field just before that period elapses, meaning the Bulldogs would be out of pocket unless there was an immediate change to the guidelines.

The Bulldogs are expected to appeal to the NRL that regardless of when Foran returns they should still be entitled to the maximum salary cap relief.

The club is expected to get the surgeon's final report this week and present it to the NRL.

The determination will set a precedent given no other club has yet qualified for the representative injury relief.

Canberra missed out when Jordan Rapana returned to the field just short of the 12-match cut-off.

The Bulldogs would argue that all indications from ­medical experts were that Foran was facing a minimum of six months on the sideline but possibly as many as 10.

 

Kieran Foran injured his shoulder playing for New Zealand. Picture: Getty Images
Kieran Foran injured his shoulder playing for New Zealand. Picture: Getty Images

 

It seems ludicrous that the limit is capped at $350,000 for all players, especially when Foran is the Bulldogs' highest- paid player on $1.2 million.

He was also fit and healthy when he left for Kiwi camp but returned home requiring two shoulder operations.

There is no disputing when the injury occurred given it happened in front of everyone watching the Test.

It would also seem unfair to make a club wait until June to find out if it qualifies for salary cap relief. By then, it would probably be too late to spend the money in next year's cap.

Foran has every reason to be pushing himself to get back early given he is off contract at the end of next season and will be fighting for his future.

He is 29 but has indicated he has no plan to retire any time soon. The football he played this year was proof that, when fit, he is still up with the NRL's elite playmakers.

News Corp Australia

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