Bulldogs praise Foran bravery after star ruled out for up to three months


“He’s had ankle injuries before, there was some scar tissue there, but because he’s used to playing with discomfort he’s gutsed it out. It was very impressive.

“There have been players who have played with broken hands, busted shoulders and rib cartilage, which is terrible. But this is different. This is someone who should not have been able to run.

Bitter blow: Kieran Foran was in brilliant form on Sunday.Credit:NRL Photo

“It’s a credit to [physio] Tony Ayoub who strapped it up and got him back out there to play.

“There are a lot of things that happen in games you look back on and you think to yourself, wow’. We were a bit stunned when after the game he was hobbling so much. We thought he would say, ‘I did it when I scored, and then re-hurt it towards the end of the game’. But he didn’t. It happened in that first half.

“Everyone used to think ‘ET’ [Andrew Ettingshausen] was a pretty boy, but he was one of the tougher players to play the game. I think Kieran is a bit like him. If someone is injured a lot they [fans] think the injuries aren’t that big. But Kieran just brushed off a big injury.”

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Givney said Foran could not receive painkillers at half-time because of the arteries and nerves around the ankle joint. Foran had to make 16 tackles and four tackle-busts virtually on one leg.

Pay, who played suffered his fair share of injuries during his playing career, said it was a huge blow for Foran and the club, especially with Sunday’s performance in the shock win over the Wests Tigers seen by many as his best to date in the club colours.

“I asked him how he was, but he always says he’s fine,” Pay said. “I thought he played great last week, he was really finding some form and getting back to his best, which is taking the line on, and with a bit of luck he scored one and could have scored a couple of more.

“I feel for him, the whole club feels for him. Injuries are a part of the game. It’s terrible timing for him and the club.

“He has a really good support network around him, especially with [wife] Karina and the kids.

“I’m going to make sure we keep him involved and he takes on a mentoring role with the two younger boys [Lewis and Cogger] now. We’ll certainly utilise his football nous and all his experience, that’s for sure. He’ll have his input into how we’re playing. It’s invaluable.”

Foran has had a well-documented battle with injuries and his mental health, but told the Herald a fortnight ago he was lifting the kind of weights he did when he was 21 and “I haven’t been this happy for a long, long time … all the stars have aligned”.

He was said to be devastated when the MRI scans confirmed the high-ankle sprain on Monday.

Canterbury had hoped to lure Cogger down the M1 Motorway from Newcastle this time last year but were forced to wait until this season. Pay also pointed out Cogger had played along side new No. 1 Nick Meaney at the Knights.

Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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