CHRIS Judd should take the conservative route and undergo a traditional knee reconstruction even though he is not expected to return to the AFL, according to leading sports medico Dr Peter Larkins.
Judd is due to consult with his surgeons and Carlton in the next few days to map out his options, with Larkins ruling out LARS surgery as a sensible option for the 31-year-old.
He said Judd should consider the state of his knee in whatever career he pursued at the end of his decorated 279-games career, with the champion onballer unlikely to play on in 2016.
"I think for the health of his knee he'll probably undergo a traditional knee reconstruction, which will give him a knee that's going to be healthier in the future," Larkins told AFL.com.au.
"One would expect that Chris is going to stay connected in footy in the future in some capacity, although it doesn't look like he'll take that up straight away.
"If Chris doesn't have his ACL fixed he won't have a healthy knee so I think he'll have a traditional knee reconstruction and go through the full rehabilitation.
"But I'm not expecting him to do that to get back into full competitive football with Carlton.
"Given this was most likely going to be his last year with Carlton, the thought of going through the proper rehabilitation and not returning until 2016, he's not likely to do that."
Judd could opt to use leading Melbourne knee surgeon Julian Feller, who operated on teammate Matthew Kruezer in 2010.
Feller is reluctant to recommend LARS operations for AFL players, having said the only time he could imagine using the technique would be for someone at the end of their career pushing to return for finals.
"I would have thought they'd have a short discussion about LARS," Larkins said. "It has only been popular in a couple of circumstances and as a quick way to come back to footy.
"They ultimately break down and need a revision surgery so I don't think Chris Judd would do take that option because he's not in a rush to come back this season.
"I think he'll look at it as an unfortunate way to finish his career."
After overcoming shoulder injuries as a young player and managing the issue through his career, Judd was also likely to face shoulder surgery at the end of his career.
Larkins said he had admired the dual Brownlow medallist's professionalism and ability to set the standard for teammates with his preparation.
The Blues will be monitoring young midfielder Patrick Cripps, who is likely to be limited on track after suffering bleeding in his thigh through the second half of the Blues' clash against Adelaide.
"It's a combination of the adductor and hamstring area," Larkins said.
"Being a younger player and a midfielder it puts some doubt on him and Carlton will evaluate him later in the week.
"A lot will depend on whether he gets through training."
Larkins said key tall Lachie Henderson had also suffered soreness in his right calf that required work from trainers and strapping against Adelaide.
In better news for Carlton, key defender Michael Jamison (calf) and vice-captain Bryce Gibbs (back) are both expected to return after the team's round 11 bye.
Fremantle, meanwhile, could be without All Australian defender Michael Johnson for up to two months after he suffered a hamstring injury only minutes into his 200th game.
Larkins said Gold Coast tall Steven May would need to be evaluated this week after suffering a left quad strain, and the club was expecting him to miss between two and four weeks depending on the result of scans.
Geelong's Shane Kersten could also miss two to three games with a right hamstring injury after he was subbed out of the Cats' win against Essendon.
Larkins also said:
- Western Bulldogs youngster Marcus Bontempelli was set to return following the Bulldogs' bye after aggravating his adductor strain. "They're expecting him to train and be available after their bye," he said.
- Essendon veteran Dustin Fletcher (groin) was in doubt for the Bombers' clash against West Coast on Saturday, but captain Jobe Watson (groin) and midfielder David Zaharakis (ankle) are both likely to be available.
- Collingwood midfielder Taylor Adams is likely to miss three to four weeks after suffering a broken toe.
- Geelong forward Mitch Clark (calf) is not likely to be risked in round 11, with the Cats playing Port Adelaide on Friday night. The Cats to see how much he train during the week.
- Fremantle defender Lee Spurr, who was a late withdrawal against Friday night with a corked thigh, was expected to be right to take part in normal training this week.
- Geelong tall Rhys Stanley, who missed with some tightness through his quad, remains in some doubt this week given the Cats are flying to AAMI Stadium and "quad injuries are prone to reoccur".