“I’m not about to roll over and put an end to it, that’s for sure,” Foran told the Herald. “I feel like my best years are still to come, that’s the most frustrating thing.
“Giving up for me at this stage is not an option. Until it’s taken from me, and I’ve got no option but to give up, then I will give up. You would probably have to take me off in a wheelchair for that to happen.
“I’m not going to roll over lightly, that’s for sure. I’m strong in my beliefs. I believe I still have good footy in me and I believe I can still compete at this level. Until I have no option but to walk away, I’m going to keep fighting my way back.”
The timing of Foran’s injury could not be worse. The former Sea Eagles, Eels and Warriors star had just returned to full fitness and showed glimpses of his best football, resulting in a call-up to the New Zealand national team. That he suffered the injury during an international match adds a number of insurance and salary cap complications.
The Bulldogs can apply for up to $350,000 of cap relief given the injury was sustained in a Test, but it remains to be seen whether the Bulldogs or the Kiwis are lumped with the insurance claim. It raises further debate over whether the level of salary cap relief is appropriate given the club lost its most valuable asset while he was playing for another team.
“The club has been great, they have stood by my side through it all,” Foran said.
“I can understand their frustration too, they have every reason to be really sour and dirty about it. They are sticking behind me and keep encouraging me to overcome these setbacks.
“My body just hasn’t been able to consistently turn out week in and week out. That’s been the most frustrating thing personally, and from the club’s point of view as well. I can understand people are disappointed but no one is more disappointed in the situation than myself.
“The most frustrating thing is my body has never felt so good. I can honestly say heading into that Test match for New Zealand I’ve not been in that good a shape since 24 or 25. I just couldn’t believe my luck.
“My strength, my fitness, everything was right. It shocked the hell out of me. That’s the hardest thing with all of this, I’ve never felt better physically. But my shoulder didn’t hold up and you say to yourself ‘Geez, what’s bloody happening with it?’
“Hopefully I can get back out there and not injure it again.”
Foran has battled a raft of injuries. His shoulder, hamstring, back and quad have all been hurt in recent seasons. He believes the resilience he has gained from those comebacks will help with this one.
“I would be aiming to get back, best [case] probably late July, early August. That’s the very best case,” he said.
“This is my last contract at the Bulldogs. I have to rehab my shoulder and try to get back out on the field and prove to people I am still playing at this level and hope I can pick up a deal for the following year, or however long I manage to stay in the game. That’s what I want to be doing.”
The Bulldogs had entertained the prospect of signing Joseph Leilua, but made the decision not to pursue the Canberra centre prior to Foran’s injury.
Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.