Kiwis star Kieran Foran's career could be coming to an end with a report out of Sydney suggesting the Bulldogs are secretly trying to retire the battered playmaker on medical grounds.
The Bulldogs halfback is expected to miss New Zealand's upcoming test against England in Denver as he faces at least a month out with a toe injury.
The former Manly premiership winner has also struggled with long-term neck and shoulder problems and has battled to regain full fitness after copping years of punishment from carrying the ball deep into the defensive line.
The 27-year-old joined Canterbury this season on a three-year deal worth around $1 million a season after injuries and personal issues impacted on his short-lived stint at the Warriors last year.
Nine.com.au report the Bulldogs are eager to clear Foran from their playing roster, as he has battled for form with the Dean Pay coached side wallowing in 15th spot with just three wins so far this season.
If the NRL agree to allow the Bulldogs to retire Foran, he will still be paid out the full amount of his contract.
However, the financially-strapped club would benefit, as his wage would not be included under the salary cap, freeing up some much-needed cash for next season.
Foran's manager Sam Ayoub denied the Bulldogs were eager to retire his client and insisted the club had not raised any concerns over his ongoing injury struggles.
"No, not at all. There's nil truth to that," said Ayoub.
"Every footballer has a battered body but some play tougher than others. He's running on par with how the team's running."
The Bulldogs are struggling to get themselves out of salary cap trouble after former coach Des Hasler signed several big name players on heavily back-ended contracts.
The situation has already forced the club to release twins Josh and Brett Morris to play in the UK Super League next year, while fullback Moses Mbye and front-rower Aaron Woods could make respective mid-season moves to Wests Tigers and Cronulla.
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