Kurtley Beale won’t be back playing for another three weeks at least as he continues counseling.
Beale was handed a boost in his quest to face the Lions this summer after an assault charge against him was dropped but that positive development won’t result in an immediate return to action.
The 24-year-old is currently suspended indefinitely after an altercation involving Rebels team mates Cooper Vuna and Gareth Delve on their recent tour of South Africa.
He agreed to "an indefinite stand down from playing", accepted a heavy fine and signed up for a program to deal with alcohol-related issues.
That program doesn’t end until next month and the Rebels’ interim CEO Rob Clarke says there is no chance of Beale being back in action before he has completed the course.
''The program in which Kurtley is involved has another three weeks to run, at which point a professional assessment of his situation will be made,'' said Clarke.
''That program has to follow its course and Kurtley won't be playing until it does.''
If Beale does return at the first available opportunity after he completes the program, his comeback game could be against the Blues in Auckland on May 11.
The most recent man to wear the Wallaby fly-half shirt and one of his country’s most prodigious talents would then have home games against the Stormers and the Rebels to press his claims for an international recall.
The Rebels also travel to the Reds on June 1 for a game in which Beale could be involved prior to a three-week Wallaby camp but head coach Robbie Deans will have already decided on his squad before then.