NRL Rd 20 - Bulldogs v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Raymond Faitala-Mariner of the Bulldogs is tackled during the round 20 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium on September 26, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Canterbury Bulldogs forward Raymond Faitala-Mariner is reportedly set to be available for the club's next game after being ruled out of Sunday's narrow one-point win over the Dolphins in Bundaberg.

The forward, who has reportedly been given clearance to leave the club at the end of 2023 as coach Cameron Ciraldo and director of football Phil Gould work to revamp the club's struggling playing roster, was a late scratching from the contest.

Gould took to his Twitter to provide an update on the forward on Sunday evening, saying he had ankle pain and was withdrawn from the game as a precaution.

He also confirmed Faitala-Mariner would take a trip home during the Bulldogs' bye week, but pending an MRI and CT scan if the injury didn't settle, should be available for the club's round 24 clash in the Hunter against the Newcastle Knights.

"Injury report on Ray Faitala Mariner," Gould wrote.

"Pain anterior ankle joint. Caution today due to prior navicular stress. Not anticipating anything major, but wise to be conservative.

"Plan. MRI and CT scan if not settling later in the week. Load manage until then. Ray is heading home to NZ tomorrow for a few days to visit family. Fully expect the pain to settle and for him to play in our next game after the bye."

Faitala-Mariner has a long history of injury after his career almost came to an end early in 2022. His return late last year for the Bulldogs was one of the season's good news stories.

He has transformed into a middle third forward this season instead of the edge role he had typically been utilised in during the opening years of his career, where he was rated as one of the best youngsters in the game.

Outside of being hospitalised as he battled a bout of pneumonia throughout the course of this year's campaign which caused him to miss multiple weeks, Faitala-Mariner has been more or less a constant on the park for Canterbury, playing 14 games.

His trip home to New Zealand may raise some eyebrows in rugby league circles given the recent reports suggesting he is able to leave the club at the end of the year.

Faitala-Mariner has been with the Bulldogs since 2016, playing all but the first 12 of his 114 NRL games with the blue and white, however, the Warriors are likely on the lookout for a forward or two to close out their 2024 roster, and the Auckland-born 30-year-old could be a good fit for Andrew Webster's side who have outperformed any and all expectations this season.

For his part, Faitala-Mariner and his management expressed no knowledge of the story regarding his potential exit from Belmore, and the forward is contracted to the Bulldogs until at least the end of the 2025 season.