CARLTON is confident co-captain Patrick Cripps will be ready for day one of pre-season despite undergoing a shoulder reconstruction this week. 

Cripps went under the knife in Queensland following a season where he suffered three 'instability episodes' on his left shoulder during matches.  

The 25-year-old battled on to play every match for the season, but opted to go under the knife on surgeon's advice after sitting out the final quarter of the Blues' round 18 loss to Brisbane with another setback.

The AFL this week informed clubs that senior players would only be required to return to training from January 6 after a disjointed 2020 campaign. 

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Carlton remains hopeful Cripps will be able to run fully in January but the rehabilitation to full contact training is likely to take around four months and carry into February.

Speaking ahead of the decision to put Cripps in for surgery, Blues director of high performance Andrew Russell outlined a potential timeline for the star midfielder. 

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"If we choose to go down that path he will likely have 4-6 weeks of no running: he'll get back, he'll have a really good running preparation and we expect him to have a full pre-season on the track and be available for round one," Russell said. 

In a big boost ahead of 2021, the Blues are confident gun forward Charlie Curnow will be able to enjoy a full pre-season after constant knee setbacks.