NRL: Mitchell Pearce returns to 'earn respect back'

Mitchell Pearce speaks to the media (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Mitchell Pearce speaks to the media (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Sydney Roosters star Mitchell Pearce has arrived back in Sydney ready to "earn respect back" after completing a stint in an overseas clinic for alcohol issues.

Pearce spent the past month in Thailand seeking treatment following the release of a drunken Australia Day video that embarrassed the 26-year-old.

The halfback flew back into Sydney airport on Sunday morning just four days before the start of the NRL season.

The Roosters and NRL are yet to decide on what sanctions Pearce, who was stood down indefinitely after the incident, may face.

"It's been a really challenging four weeks," said Pearce.

"It was something I've really needed to do and the hard work starts for me now.

"I've got a lot of people to earn respect back off. First and foremost I want to spend today with my family."

Pearce said he's ready to face the music over the incident, with reports he won't be allowed to return until round six and be hit with a fine of up to $50,000.

"I'm coming back here with a clear head and I've got a lot of people to earn respect off," said Pearce.

"So whatever my punishment is I'll be copping that on the chin.

"I love footy and it's something I've missed a lot being around my mates and being around footy. But I've deserved the punishment. I totally humiliated myself and a lot of other people. I'm not hiding from anything. I'm here to cop whatever comes."

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