CARLTON coach David Teague has cast doubt on ruckman Matthew Kreuzer returning this season after his round one foot injury.
Kreuzer went down with a fractured metatarsal in the Blues' opening game against Richmond in March and faced a four-month layoff.
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He has travelled to Queensland with his family and is in the AFL's quarantine hub for another week and after that will be able to rejoin his Blues teammates on the Gold Coast when they return to the state.
However it is looking unlikely the 31-year-old will be back in 2020 with only six games of the home and away season remaining after the Blues' clash on Sunday against West Coast.
"I'm not sure [if he'll play again this year], it depends how he progresses," Teague said on Friday.
"He's been progressing pretty well. It was a bit of a nasty injury. We sent him home to use the AlterG [running] machine and now he's come back up with his family so we'll have to reassess when he gets back with the whole group where he's tracking.
"To be honest I'm not sure if he'll get back this year, but we'll give him every chance."
Kreuzer is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and has taken on the part-time ruck coaching reins while sidelined, helping new Blues big man Marc Pittonet have a strong start at the club.
Teague said discussions hadn't started about the former No.1 pick's future.
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"We haven't got that far, we don't even know what list sizes are, but Matthew's been a great player for us and what I've loved about him this year is he's stepped into a ruck coaching role," Teague said.
"When we had to release a few of our staff one of ours was our ruck coach and Matthew Kreuzer took over.
"He's been great and the work he's done with 'Pitto' and Tom De Koning and Cal Moore has been outstanding and we've loved what he's done.
"Right now I think he was up doing a clinic with all the kids in the quarantine hub and he's just a great club person. That conversation will happen later in the year but his value's been outstanding for us this year."
Forward Mitch McGovern trained on Thursday and will be close to facing the Eagles after his hamstring issue, while Teague said De Koning is close to selection as he searches for his first AFL appearance since 2018.
Caleb Marchbank and Paddy Dow will play in the Blues' scratch match this weekend after getting passed their respective knee injury issues.