What’s happened to Karmichael Hunt
KARMICHAEL Hunt's lawyers have brokered the first steps out of his tortured rugby limbo but his Brisbane club has rejected him because of his drug-tainted reputation.
Legal letters sent to the Queensland Rugby Union have forced a situation where he is now undergoing reconditioning training away from the Queensland Reds squad.
It is believed Hunt, 31, has also requested a return to work.
Norths have shut the door on a club return at Courtney Field.
It is now more than four months since Hunt had cocaine possession charges dropped in court due to lack of evidence.
Hunt's salary of around $10,000 a week has been paid all that time while he has not played in any Reds' games or trained with Brad Thorn's squad.
The initial charges related to his arrest in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley late last year.
The only concrete decision on Hunt's playing future has been taken by Norths where the committee has vetoed an approach from him to resume playing.
The club has an expanding juniors base of more than 500 kids and would have lost major sponsor, radio station Triple M, if Hunt had been given a green light.
"Karmichael made an inquiry about playing, it did go to the committee and we suggested we weren't the place for him," Norths president Kieran Prideaux said.
"We are a community club with players from Under-6s to Golden Oldies and it was not considered a good fit.
"Karmichael took it the right way."
Factored in was Hunt's history after a five-game ban in 2015 when he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession.
Hunt was co-operative with Rugby Australia's Integrity Unit and agreed to stand down from all Reds-related rugby activities until his day in court on February 19.
Hunt pleaded guilty to possessing a tablet of Xanax and copped a $600 fine with criminal lawyer Adam Magill in his corner.
Rugby Australia's own investigation delivered a $10,000 fine in March and a retrospective four-match ban for a code of conduct breach.
There has largely been an uncertain tango since with the Reds making no moves to reintroduce him and hints that Hunt was searching for a new club overseas.
Reds coach Brad Thorn has indicated an admirable zero-tolerance stance on drugs.
That already suggests that prop James Slipper, making progress with wellness issues during his stand down, will not be playing at the Reds again after two positive tests for cocaine.
Hunt signed a new two-year deal with Rugby Australia late last year worth around $500,000 a year to take him through until the end of next year's World Cup.
With no footy under his belt this season, his allure for an overseas club declines with every month he doesn't lace up the boots.
Equally, it has been a refresher around family in a long career and European clubs are at the point where they are juggling final positions for new season training.