Warriors recruit Kieran Foran expects a resolution on his NRL playing future to be determined in weeks rather than months.
The 26-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Auckland-based club in September after being released from a lucrative Parramatta contract due to mental illness.
However he is yet to receive the green light from the NRL, who want further assurances on Foran's mental health and connections to colourful Sydney personalities.
A shoulder injury also kept him off the park before the rescission of his Eels contract in July.
Speaking at this weekend's Auckland Nines, Foran told Warriors fans his move across the ditch had provided the perfect tonic for his various woes.
He was nearing full-fitness after his shoulder injury and was able to get back to his roots, having lived in Auckland until he was 10.
"Go back to what I really enjoyed doing as a kid, surrounding myself with loving family members and that's something I missed," Foran said.
"I'm smiling again and I'm loving being back."
The NRL remain in frequent contact with Foran, his representatives and Warriors chief Jim Doyle about the ratification of his contract, so far to no avail.
Doyle in particular was adamant the deal would be done before Christmas, since revised to the end of January and now to round one of the NRL.
If the deal does not get across the line before the Warriors' March 5 opener against Newcastle, youngster Ata Hingano will likely join Shaun Johnson in the halves.
But Foran, who has played 20 times for New Zealand, was confident everything would be in order by the start of the 2017 campaign.
He felt the side could achieve big things.
"There's a standard across the board this year that we're going to get the results we think we deserve, playing finals footy, we want to be challenging," Foran said.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg confirmed to reporters that the Foran saga was nearing its end, saying he didn't wish to keep the playmaker in limbo.
But the organising body still needed to speak with professionals working alongside Foran, as well as with Doyle, before any boxes could be ticked.
"We want to make sure that when he comes back into the sport, he's done the work and made the sacrifices," Greenberg said.