New NZ Warriors coach Stephen Kearney isn't losing any sleep over the availability of key half Kieran Foran, as the NRL pre-season takes another step up in intensity.
Foran signed with the Auckland-based club late last year, but is still awaiting NRL clearance, before he can take his place on the Warriors roster for the upcoming season.
The Kiwis international took extended leave from the Parramatta Eels last season, struggling to come to grips with a relationship break-up, and then soon after returning, suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the rest of the campaign.
The Eels released Foran from the remainder of his four-year $NZ5.25 million contract, but he may also be part of an ongoing match-fixing investigation that dates back to his previous tenure at Manly Sea Eagles.
"For me, the decision is not my decision," insists Kearney, who previously coached Foran with the NZ Kiwis. "That's the NRL's and it's a process that [Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle] is working through with the NRL.
"To be honest, I haven't spent a great deal of energy on it, because my focus is on 30-35 blokes here, who I've got to look after.
"My job is to prepare the lads in terms of what we're working on with our structures and our game plan, and leaving the Kieran Foran situation up to Jim."
Kearney reported Foran was visiting a specialist today, but his shoulder injury had progressed well, since his arrival at the Warriors.
"I've seen a real improvement from him over the past month or so - he's come back after Christmas in fantastic shape - in the sense of what he's contributed to the team.
"I'm sure that will grow more and more, as he starts ticking some boxes."
Kearney also described Foran's head space as "really good".
If Foran is not cleared for action, reserve grader Mason Lino and teenager Ata HIngano loom as possible replacements.