Cronulla are set to announce they have re-signed fullback Ben Barba, however it's understood he may not be able to begin training with the defending NRL premiers for up to four months.

The Sharks are expected to make the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, however it will still require approval from NRL officials before the deal is registered.

For that to happen, the NRL will have to be convinced that Barba has been fully rehabilitated since copping a 12-game ban for his second positive test to illicit drugs in the space of a year, which ultimately led to him being released by Cronulla in November.

Barba headed to Thailand for a four-week stint in a rehabilitation clinic following the ban, but his manager claimed at the time the stay was for an anxiety disorder, and not drug related.


Regardless of the outcome of the contract registration, it's understood he may still be forced to wait until just before his anticipated June return date before he can train with the Cronulla team again.

The 27-year-old would also be on his final drugs warning, with a third breach likely to lead to contract termination as per the NRL's illicit drug police.