Kieran Foran is highly unlikely to play in Parramatta’s next NRL clash against South Sydney on Friday, but his return from time out due to personal issues will probably come the week after against Melbourne.
The Eels return to football for the first time against Souths, since the NRL handed down their provisional sanctions on Tuesday for allegedly rorting the salary cap.
Foran has been given leave from the Eels since late last month, just prior to their round-nine win over Canterbury, after overdosing on prescription medicine.
The New Zealand international was not at Eels training at their north Parramatta base on Sunday.
According to reports Foran has continued to work on his fitness, while undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation clinic in Brisbane.
It was initially suggested the premiership-winning pivot would return in time for Friday’s Pirtek Stadium clash.
However that is not expected be the case.
A round 12 return against the Storm at Pirtek Stadium on Monday, May 23 is the more probable scenario.
“We are just giving him some space at the moment,” Eels club captain Tim Mannah said on Sunday.
If the Eels can get under the cap by the time they meet Souths, they will need to win 12 of their last 15 matches to qualify for the NRL’s final series.
It was a feat they achieved in 2009 in their surge to the grand final.
“We can’t get caught up in that big picture and get too worried about winning 12 from 15,” Mannah said
“If we do that we will lose focus on the job at hand.”