Sport Carlton won't rush Curnow back to AFL

06:58  22 july  2021
06:58  22 july  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

Curnow 'super confident' ahead of comeback

  Curnow 'super confident' ahead of comeback Charlie Curnow is confident he can return to the heights which saw him rewarded with a big contract back in 2018.Curnow will take the field with Carlton's VFL side this weekend, playing heavily restricted minutes as he aims to gradually build up his loads after a run of knee injuries.

Star Carlton forward Charlie Curnow's long-awaited AFL return won't be this weekend, with coach David Teague saying the Blues are not prepared to rush him back.

a person holding a football ball: Charlie Curnow won't be rushed back into Carlton's AFL side after his long absence through injury. © Sean Garnsworthy/AAP PHOTOS Charlie Curnow won't be rushed back into Carlton's AFL side after his long absence through injury.

Curnow hasn't played a senior match in more than two years after a horror run of right knee problems.

He got through three-quarters of a scratch match unscathed on Sunday but Teague said the 24-year-old needed increased game time under his belt before being exposed to the rigours of AFL football.

"He won't play AFL this week. He'll play VFL again and then we'll progress afterwards," Teague said on Thursday.

Curnow emerges from scratch match unscathed

  Curnow emerges from scratch match unscathed Luckless Carlton forward Charlie Curnow has taken his first major step on his two-year path to return to the AFL level.The oft-injured forward emerged through a scratch match unscathed on Sunday after initially being slated to play in Carlton's VFL clash against Collingwood before the second-tier competition was postponed due to Victoria's COVID-19 outbreak.

"At this stage it's tracking well, he looked good last week and it was great to see him back out there.

"I have a lot of trust in our high performance and medical team. They will control (his) amount of game time.

"Once his form is to a state that is good enough to play AFL, then it will be whether his body can handle the intensity."

Curnow injured the medial ligament in his right knee against Fremantle in June 2019 and has since endured a dislocation, fracture and hairline stress response in the same joint.

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"We're not going to rush it. Charlie's wellbeing and health is our priority," Teague said.

It means Curnow will miss brother Ed's 200th AFL match against last-placed North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.

More injury trouble for Carlton in AFL

  More injury trouble for Carlton in AFL Zac Williams and Eddie Betts have been added to a growing injury list at Carlton, heaping more pressure on the AFL club's under-fire football department.The news is a hit to the Blues' football department, which is under the blowtorch of a wide-ranging external review that began this month.

"Ed's journey is a great journey. Drafted, delisted, worked his way in, broke his leg, got onto a list, became a tagger," Teague said.

"There's so many different chapters to his story. It hasn't been easy and he's worked really hard."

Carlton have won three of their past four matches and sit just one win outside the top eight in 13th position.

Teague said co-captain Patrick Cripps, who missed the Blues' stirring come-from-behind win over traditional rivals Collingwood with a corked thigh, should return as long as gets through training on Thursday.

Veteran Marc Murphy also appears likely to make a comeback from a calf injury, provided he passes tests at training.

"We're starting to play a bit more consistently, particularly with our defence. Our offence ... has probably dropped away," Teague said.

"It's a work in progress, we've still got a lot of areas to improve."

Cases prompt Vic stadium exposure rethink .
Two more COVID-19 cases linked to the MCG and AAMI Park have prompted a revision of exposure site classifications and times at the two Melbourne sports venues.Two of Victoria's 13 new local cases reported in the 24 hours to Monday morning were linked to the major sports stadiums.

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