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The Canterbury Bulldogs are reportedly facing a legal battle with the player who walked out of the club's training and stood down with mental health issues last year.

First reported by News Corp last year, the player, who hasn't been named due to the seriousness of his mental state, turned up late to training before the coaching staff decided to enforce a punishment due to him not being on time to training.

Reports indicated that the punishment reportedly saw him wrestle more than 12 players, allegedly enforced by the coaching staff.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the two parties are involved in a legal battle, with talks between the player's manager and the club breaking down, while both the RLPA and NRL welfare team are reportedly monitoring the situation at the moment.

“I can't because there's legal proceedings under way," Bulldogs Chief Executive Aaron Warburton told the publication after the player's manager declined to comment on the situation.

It is understood that the player is still on the club's Top 30 roster but has yet to return to training since the incident last season, and it's unknown if the player is still getting paid.

NRL Rd 1 - Sea Eagles v Bulldogs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 04: Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo is interviewed during the round one NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Canterbury Bulldogs at 4 Pines Park on March 04, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Addressing the media last year on the incident, Cameron Ciraldo defended the club's punishment and doubled down on the club's push to increase standards, aiming to turn the Bulldogs into a finals contender in the next few years.

“It's a pretty sensitive issue and I won't be commenting,” Ciraldo told the media last year.

“I don't want to comment specifically, but at different times, we've wanted to put some standards in place, and if you're late, we have to do something.

“We are trying to drive standards. We want to have winning performance standards. Some of that's been monetary related, some of it's been spinning a wheel, and then some of that's been trying to find ways to change behaviours.

“The reality is we need to change behaviours here, and I think we've done a good job of that throughout the season. And I feel really sorry for the fans that we are where we are.

“It doesn't seem like we've taken steps forward this year on the same wins as last year. We definitely haven't taken steps back.”

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