Main content

More blues for Kreuz as ruckman undergoes surgery

Blues forward faces 'tall order' to make best 22 Riley Beveridge and Mitch Cleary bring you an update on the Blues' pre-season

CARLTON ruckman Matthew Kreuzer has undergone minor knee surgery but the Blues are confident it won't hamper his preparations for round one.

Kreuzer had the operation this week in a development that would sound alarm bells for the Blues' faithful given the 29-year-old missed 10 games last year after suffering ankle, concussion and heart-rate issues.

However, Carlton's director of high performance Andrew Russell believes Kreuzer's strong conditioning base will hold him in good stead to regain full fitness for the Blues' premiership season campaign.

"We don't expect it to be a major interruption and we're really confident he's going to get back to be doing some game play late in the pre-season and be ready for round one," Russell told the club's website.

"We're fortunate that Kreuzer's had an excellent preparation up until this point and hasn't missed a beat at all, so we expect him to be in very good shape at the start of the season."

PLAY AFL FANTASY Make your team now

Carlton's other ruck options include former Port Adelaide big man Matthew Lobbe and Andrew Phillips.

Despite the Kreuzer setback, the Blues announced that several other players were making significant progress in their recoveries from injury.

Chief among them is former Crows swingman Mitch McGovern, who is recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his back, sustained in the last session before Christmas.

"He was pretty sore for a couple of weeks but he's come back from Christmas and done a couple of good weeks of training outside the main group. As of the next week or two he'll be back into full training. We're pretty happy that he's back on track and he's looking good for the start of the season," Russell said.

CLUB LISTS COMPARED Oldest? Youngest? Most experienced?

Ex-Giants midfielder Will Setterfield, who underwent a knee reconstruction last February, completed the bulk of the Blues' training session on Friday and over the "next week or two" will be integrated into full match simulation.

"He's looking really good for the start of the season," Russell said.

Key defender Caleb Marchbank (back) had been "a little bit slow" before Christmas but has made good strides in recent weeks.

"He's doing some really good quality running and we hope to see him start infiltrating to the ball work in the next two or three weeks and probably match play within the next month and getting ready for the start of the season," Russell said.

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

Fellow tall backman Liam Jones (fractured left hand) is expected to return to full training in the next week.

Former Cat Darcy Lang (foot) has been running but is "still a fair way off" from doing change-of-direction drills, kicking and skills training and is "highly unlikely" to be available for round one.

Small forward Jarrod Pickett is in a knee brace after surgery to a ruptured patella tendon and is "a long way off playing football".

Luckless co-captain Sam Docherty, who underwent his second knee reconstruction in 12 months, is back on the bike and in the gym and is set to take a short break from the club to freshen up. The Blues haven't closed the door on their defensive general playing late this season.

"We'll give him every chance to play football in 2019," Russell said.

The Blues will soon travel to Mooloolaba in Queensland for a training camp as they build momentum before they host Essendon in their opening JLT Community Series hitout at Ikon Park on Thursday, February 28.

Carlton will take on Richmond in their annual season-opener at the MCG on Thursday, March 21.