CARLTON forward Charlie Curnow was left bracing for "repercussions" for an off-season knee mishap that was in-part fuelled by the Blues.
As revealed by AFL.com.au, Curnow required surgery in October after dislocating his troublesome right knee playing basketball with teammates.
However, coach David Teague said the club had asked Curnow to test his knee out over his break and return to surfing and playing basketball after he missed the final eight matches of 2019 with the injury.
"I see it as living, I've got no issue with it," Teague told RSN.
"I went around to his house that night (of the injury), I think he was fearing some repercussions.
"He missed the end of last year and we needed him to sort of test it out to be honest.
Charlie Curnow with his knee in a brace after the R15 clash with Freo. Picture: AFL Photos
"I didn't want him to do it, don't get me wrong, but I'm glad he did it in October than in December or January, that would've been really disappointing.
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"He's come back in really good condition, he's improved his body shape even though he's been injured.
"There is a balancing act, I don't want them doing stupid things but they've also got to live. I'm big on them being in a good mental space to perform."
Curnow and Sam Docherty on the track in late July. Picture: AFL Photos
Curnow was an onlooker as several older teammates joined the Blues' first-to-fourth-year players back on the field at pre-season training on Monday.
Teague said he was ready to throw down the gauntlet to the players during his first summer as senior coach to allow them to determine the club's game style.
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"Mentally I've got a game plan which I think we'll play," Teague said.
"I want to challenge the players, I want to throw them in a heap of different situations and environments in terms of drills at training and see how they solve it naturally and see if that aligns with the way the coaches are thinking.
"We've (coaches) watched a fair bit of footy in the break.
"We're excited by the way we think we should play but we want to see if that's actually the way the players execute without too much instruction from there.
"It won't change a lot from last year (2019), we want to be a little bit more attacking, but we still want that aggressive defence.
"I haven't been at another club and done it this way, so we'll have to find out how it goes."
Teague added that he'd been in recent contact with wantaway Gold Coast forward Jack Martin who has indicated his desire to join the Blues.
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After failing to negotiate a trade with the Suns during the Telstra AFL Trade Period, the Blues are confident they'll be able to secure Martin's services through the Pre-Season Draft.
David Teague chats with assistant coach Henry Playfair at training on Wednesday. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos