Foran fighting to get back to his best
KIERAN Foran can laugh about his shocking attempted goal kick on Good Friday - but not about the pain he still feels in his back that makes it almost impossible to get out of bed some days.
Foran's conversion from in front against South Sydney was too ugly to be true, with the Canterbury playmaker still shaking his head about it on Monday.
"It was a complete shank. I could try and do it 20 times after training and I wouldn't manage to get it under the crossbar,'' Foran said.
"I had to have a chuckle when I went home and watched the replay of me shanking it from in front.''
Foran is the first to admit he is still some weeks away from being at his best for new club Canterbury.
But few fans would know about the awful pain he forever feels in his back that has troubled him since his NRL debut in 2009.
The frightening thing for Foran is the fact he is only 26.
"My back has been terrible since I came into first grade,'' he said.
"That's what most people wouldn't know about me, that I've had a bulging disc in my back since 2009.
"There's no doubt it's contributed to my hamstring issues over the years.
"Sometimes when I get out of bed I have to hobble to the bathroom. After games I'm worse for wear. My body has always been shot.''
Foran had the L5 vertebrae begin to bulge after an ''innocuous tackle'' during Sea Eagles training. While surgery could be an option once he retires, Foran praised the Bulldogs and his three previous NRL clubs for ensuring he stayed fit and at his best each week.
He has played the first four games of the season with Canterbury, and is looking to help Dean Pay get one up on his former master Ricky Stuart in Canberra on Thursday night.
Foran knows if he can stay on the field and continue to build combinations with the spine, including rookie five-eighth Jeremy Marshall-King, it will help him get back to his brilliant best.
"You don't like to compare to certain seasons and where you were because it's hard,'' Foran said.
"But personally I'm not playing (at the standard) I'd like to be, and where I need to be for this team.
"You can't get frustrated with it. I've bee around footy long enough to know you just need to work hard, put in the time and effort on the training paddock, building those combinations, and eventually it will turn.
"I set my standards high. I know where I want to be as a player. Hopefully in the coming weeks, with a few more games I play and gelling with those combinations, hopefully I can hit some form.''
Speaking about his latest No.6, Foran said of Marshall-King: "I think he's been really solid. Defensively they've thrown a lot at him, and attack wise he hasn't been afraid to take the line on. He'll grow in confidence with each game and get better.''