Kieran Foran faces more mental health checks but it will be the troubled star’s physical powers of recovery that determine if he’ll be back on deck for Parramatta next week.
Foran’s return to the NRL after almost three weeks in a rehabilitation clinic fighting his demons looked to have ended just 20 minutes into the Eels’ 18-6 loss to Melbourne on Monday night.
But after being crunched in a tackle the rugged Kiwi international had an injection in his left shoulder and soldiered on for the full 80 minutes.
Now Foran is racing the clock to be fit for next Monday night’s trip to Newcastle to tackle the last-placed Knights.
“He made a bit of a half-break down that right edge in the first half and landed awkward and had to get needled up and carried it through the game, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be okay,” said Eels coach Brad Arthur.
“They targeted him and got some play the balls through him down went down that edge a little bit, but he didn’t want to come off and we needed him out there so he just had to tough it out.
“He plays nice and tough. He put on some good plays.”
The Parramatta captain will return to Brisbane on Tuesday to continue treatment for the personal issues that led to the 25-year-old overdosing on prescription drugs last month.
“He’ll go back for a couple of days and they’ll reassess him and see how he coped this week and make a decision from there,” Arthur said.
“But as long as his shoulder’s okay, he’ll be back ready to play next week.”
Despite his layoff, Foran was among the Eels’ best and set up their only try with a grubber kick for centre Michael Jennings.
“It’s great to have `Foz’ back out there. He’s a competitor and I love playing with him. Everyone loves playing with him,” said prop Danny Wicks.
Coach Arthur is also hopeful the seven-day turnaround will allow Beau Scott to recover from a leg cork in time and insists the Eels won’t give up on securing a miracle finals berth with 12 wins from their last 13 games.
“Nothing’s changed. There’s plenty of motivation,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we need to keep it the same. We need to do what we’ve always done with how we control our week.
“Do our review, be honest and find some energy at the back end of the week, give the boys a reason and a way to win the game.
“You put a couple of wins together and the whole thing can change.”