Kieran Foran has opened up about how his wife saved his NRL career.
The five-eighth has previously spoken about his out of control lifestyle and gambling problem during a torrid 2016 in which he wrestled with addictions and mental illness.
His private life and career had disintegrated around him until he sought solace back in New Zealand with a career lifeline at the Warriors in 2017.
Foran then met and married mother-of-six Karina Ormsby in 2018 - who he now credits as having been the lifeline to his NRL career.
Speaking to mental skills coach Aaron Walsh on Marc Peard Sports, Foran said he believes he would have retired years ago had he not met Karina.
"That's how strong of an impact she's had on me, not only as a footballer but as a person," Foran said.
"When she met me she said she's never met someone who talked and thought so poorly of themselves. She couldn't believe the negative language that would come out of my mouth about the human being that I was.
"I had lost what it meant to be a good human being and a good person ... I had become clouded in my view and the biggest impact she's had on me is connecting me back to who I really am inside."
The Kiwis international was not named yesterday by the Bulldogs for their clash with Manly on Sunday, despite hopes that he had done enough rehabilitation since suffering a shoulder injury at the end of last year.
His specialist has instead elected to take a cautious approach.
The sideline isn't unusual territory for Foran, however, who has spent much time over his career ruled out by injury.
Foran said it was the root of his previous mental battle.
"Dealing with the sheer amount of injuries I have has tested me to the brink. Just considering the amount that I've had and how regularly I've had to rehabilitate injuries on my own, away from the boys, it's just a really empty and lonely feeling as an athlete," he said.
"That constant shame of 'oh he's injured again' and 'he's on big money and he can't even bloody get on the field,' you constantly live with that. When you really care about what you do and you care about having an impact and being able to perform on the field, being injured just takes all that away and you don't get the enjoyment of running out there with your mates and doing your thing each weekend. Instead, you've got to be on the sidelines feeling sorry for yourself."
Foran will undergo more contact and strength work next week to prove his fitness with Lachlan Lewis and Jack Cogger selected in the halves for Canterbury's meeting with the Sea Eagles at Central Coast Stadium.