Chris Sandow says the death of a family member prompted his decision to walk out on Warrington Wolves, with head coach Tony Smith unsurprised by the half-back's sudden exit.
Sandow is under contract at the Super League club until the end of the 2017 campaign, but failed to report back for pre-season training this month.
According to the 27-year-old former South Sydney Rabbitohs and Parramatta Eels man, suffering from bereavement prompted him to reassess his career choices.
"It's a long way from home and I'm really family orientated," Sandow told Fox Sports.
"When I went over there [the UK], my uncle, my dad's brother, passed away from cancer. We're really close. He's like a dad to me.
"It broke my heart. I've grown up with all my family around me. My uncle is a big part of me being where I am today and it's sad I couldn't see him out.
"I promised myself that's not going to happen again. When I got home from England I got comfortable and emotionally attached to my family. It was a tough decision to make."
Sandow acknowledged he made a mistake by not informing Warrington about his reasons for failing to return.
"I should have been a man about it and explained to them what was happening," Sandow said.
"I'm from an Aboriginal community and communication isn't something that always comes natural to me.
"I went over there at the back end of last year and it's a good club to go to. But it's hard to go back knowing what I've got here in Australia and that's family.
"They're number one. Family is the most important thing to me and that's why I made the decision not to go back to England."
Sandow joined Warrington from Parramatta in July 2015 after falling out with Eels coach Brad Arthur.
And his boss at Halliwell Jones Stadium claims Wolves "knew what we were getting into" when they recruited the mercurial player.
"The timing of it wasn't great, but Chris is erratic, like he is on the field," Smith was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
"I wasn't overly shocked. The timing and the method of informing us was poor, but aside from that there were no grand shocks.
"We knew what we were getting into and he didn't cause any major hassles off the field. He showed at times how outstanding he can be."