Kieran Foran looks likely to make his NRL return this weekend, having been named on an extended bench for the New Zealand Warriors.
The Warriors have named a 22-man squad for their fourth round clash against the Dragons, meaning Foran can make his debut for the New Zealand side if he is not one of the five players to be chopped before the side is finalised.
A decision on whether or not he plays is expected to be made later this week, as he battles to prove his fitness after recovering from shoulder surgery.
The injury ended his season in Round 12 last year after just nine appearances for the Parramatta Eels before off-field dramas caused him to leave the side, less than one year into a million dollar contract.
In addition to those nine appearances for the Eels in 2016, he has previously played 147 matches for the Sea Eagles between 2009 and 2015.
“He’s ticking along OK,” said Warriors coach Stephen Kearney.
“He’s got a protocol that we’re working through with him this week, through to the end of the week, and if he ticks the boxes that we need him to tick, there’ll be a chance.”
The Warriors are slated to play St George at 6:30pm (AEDT) on Sunday evening.
New Zealand fans would be hoping that Foran, if he does play, can help lift their disappointing form so far this season.
Foran signed a one-year deal with the New Zealand Warriors in September last year and received his final clearance from the NRL to play with the side earlier this month.
Warriors side to play Dragons
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2 Tuimoala Lolohea, 3 David Fusitu’a, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Mafoa’aeata Hingano, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 Albert Vete, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Jacob Lillyman, 11 Bodene Thompson, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Simon Mannering.
Interchange (from): 14 Erin Clark, 15 Charlie Gubb, 16 Sam Lisone, 17 Bunty Afoa, 18 James Gavet, 20 Ligi Sao, 21 Blake Ayshford, 22 Kieran Foran.