It will be a huge boost for the Bulldogs to have Foran’s experience as they try to stop the Knights and former club favourite David Klemmer.
“The recovery was always around eight to 10 weeks with these ‘tightrope’ surgeries but I never wanted to accept I’d be out that long, so I ploughed into the rehab as much as I could from the get-go,” Foran said.
“I still have to get through Thursday. The guys around the club have done everything they can to help me get back on the field as quickly as possible.
“I’m itching to play again. I’d like to think I can get through the 80 minutes. You can’t get match fitness without playing games and it doesn’t matter how much running or cardio you do, the first game you always blow in some respect.
“I’ve managed to kepe myself working hard in the gym or on the field the last couple of weeks.
“I’m confident I’ll get through the game and be better again with my lungs back.”
Foran made a point of helping Cogger and Lewis while on the sidelines and said he was keen to team up with former Knight Cogger if Lewis did remain at home.
“Jack is an impressive young kid. He’s a real professional and works hard on his game and I’ve been impressed with how both of them have developed as a partnership,” Foran said.
“We haven’t got the results we have wanted but for two young kids starting out in their careers, they’ve done everything that has been asked of them.”
Klemmer will loom as a threat for his former Canterbury teammates/ Foran said of the international front-rower: “He loves his footy … you see that with the way he plays and he’s started to get them going the last few weeks”.
Newcastle halfback Mitchell Pearce and Foran also spent a lot of time growing up together and, like Klemmer, the Knights playmaker has bounced back to his best in the last fortnight.
Foran played 50 minutes with a busted ankle against Wests Tigers in what many good judges thought was his best game in the past four seasons.
How he defied the pain left plenty of people stunned including Bulldogs doctor Dave Givney, who said at the time: “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.”
Pay and Canterbury fans will be sweating on Foran surviving the final hit-out and boarding the plane north as they chase their third win of the season.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.