“Not only did he have a positive attitude throughout, no matter how he felt after five or six months he was making a comeback.
“He loves the game so much he doesn’t care if his shoulder is not the same as it was when he was 20. Nothing was going to stop him.
“The work he has done and the work [Bulldogs physio] Tony Ayoub has put in, I was amazed by how far he had come along with his recovery when I saw him [last week].
“What Kieran has achieved is a pretty amazing thing.”
Trantalis can still remember sensing the scans had not revealed the full extent of Foran’s shoulder damage, and it was only after he carried out his first operation to stabilise the left shoulder he discovered the rotator cuff tendons had been completely ripped off.
Foran can still remember waking up in hospital the first time and being told he would require a second surgery and could miss the entire 2020 season, the last on his current Bulldogs contract.
Trantalis was the man who forced Foran to hold off making his return against Manly last Sunday. He made the same tough decision to stop Slater making a miraculous return in the 2016 grand final for the Storm against the Sharks.
Trantalis is a Canterbury fan and would have deep down dreaded telling the club’s best player to cool his heels for a week.
Nearly 30, Foran has endured an injury-ravaged career and Trantalis admits another serious shoulder injury would be “very concerning”.
Bulldogs doctor Dave Givney, who has worked with the biggest names in the game, said he did not expect to see Foran this year.
“But Kieran is unstoppable,” Givney said. “He’s come back a lot earlier than I thought, he’s put 100 per cent into his recovery, and I have to stand back in admiration, put it that way.”
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.