The Cronulla Sharks hope to have Ben Barba (pictured) playing by mid way through the 2017 NRL season.

The Club sacked Barba after he recorded a positive drug test in the days following the Sharks inaugural premiership win.

Coach Shane Flanagan says while Barba’s ongoing treatment and rehabilitation is still the priority, the club hopes he’ll be back on the field in Sharks colours as soon as his 12 game suspension is over.