Unfinished business has kept Kurtley Beale away from rugby league, with the fallen star vowing to get both his body and mind right while recovering from shoulder surgery.

Beale, who will be sidelined until mid-January, confirmed on Friday that contract talks between his management and Super Rugby franchise the NSW Waratahs had advanced to the final stages.

"Hopefully there'll be an announcement as early as next week," Beale told AAP.

The Waratahs were always favoured to land Beale after his messy departure from the Melbourne Rebels, but a handful of NRL clubs also put out the feelers.

And for good reason.

"Hopefully one day I'll get the opportunity (to play in the NRL). I'm a huge league fan," Beale said.

"But there's still a lot of unfinished business here in rugby union that I want to do."

Many ex-Wallabies list the British and Irish Lions series as the highlight of their careers, but for Beale 2013 was a year full of regrets.

Beale battled alcohol problems, the flash point of which was a punch-up with Rebels teammate Cooper Vuna in South Africa.

The 24-year-old was admitted to rehab after another lapse, but returned to the national team and played all three Tests against the Lions.

His contribution to the series will unfairly be remembered simply as the missed penalty kick in the dying stages of the opening clash which the Lions claimed 23-21.

Now Beale is dealing with the letdown of missing the Rugby Championship after new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie booked him in for surgery shortly after the dismissal of Robbie Deans.

"There is a bit of disappointment and a little bit of regret," Beale said, reflecting on his past eight months.

"I've learned a lot from that.

"It's a bit of a day-by-day process for me now, to be able to actually build on the things that I've learned from and just live."

A return to Beale's hometown of Sydney is helping the rehabilitation process.

"I'm very happy with where I'm at ... a big part of that is being around family and friends and the support network," he said.

"I know deep down I can play better than I have ... now I've just got to be honest with myself and not take any shortcuts.

"I've got six months to knuckle down and get the body right and get the head right. Get it all settled."

All going well Beale will reunite not only with the Waratahs but also ex-NSW coach McKenzie, who gave him his Super Rugby debut as a teenager.

"I like his style. It's pretty simple stuff and I don't like to complicate my rugby too much," he said.