A REJUVENATED Chris Judd has returned to Carlton after an extended break with director of training and development Rob Wiley comparing the veteran's pre-season form to that of a 20-year-old.
The Blues allowed Judd to take a longer break over the Christmas period with the 31-year-old traveling overseas with his young family.
The former skipper travelled to Dubai, London and Paris before enjoying the slopes of Whistler in Canada.
Judd, who is entering his 14th AFL season, resumed training with his teammates on Tuesday with the playing group returning with "renewed enthusiasm."
"During their pre-Christmas training, they had set (themselves) really high standards," Wiley told the club's website.
"They'd tackled all the challenges that were thrown at them … the testing that we did yesterday had very pleasing results."
"The good thing is, from probably our oldest player down to our youngest player, all have shown excellent standards.
"Chris Judd, before he went on his overseas trip, was burning the track like he was a 20-year-old. And then you have someone like Patty Cripps, who after one year (of being drafted) has dropped a bit of weight and has gotten fitter.
"So right across the board, we have everyone that wants to make sure that 2015 is going to be much better."
The Blues are in a much better position this time of year compared to 12 months ago when the playing list endured as many as 23 post-season surgeries.
Despite the relatively fit and healthy list, Carlton's fitness and conditioning staff will ease the players back into training this week, before ramping up the intensity in the lead up to the Blues' pre-season camp at Mount Buller.
"We've got to be smart," Wiley said.
"They've come back off that two-week break, so we're not going to be jumping straight into the deep-end, we've got to slowly build them up.
"But within a week or so, we'll be back to high-intense training. We've got out football camp at (Mount) Buller at the end of January – so we'll build up to that.
"We're probably only five or so weeks away from a game, so it's a matter of getting the players ready for that.
"The group is in very good condition compared to the amount of operations and modified training that we had the year before."
Carlton kicks of its NAB Challenge campaign against West Coast in Mandurah on February 27.