David Cuningham at Carlton training on June 8, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

CARLTON is weighing up whether it calls upon luckless midfielder David Cuningham for his first AFL appearance in 763 days, with the club looking to snap a six-match losing streak when it plays Gold Coast at the MCG on Sunday.

Cuningham hasn't played at senior level since rupturing his ACL in the opening stages of a game against Melbourne in May 2021, but has made an impressive return to fitness at reserves level recently.

With coach Michael Voss desperately searching for forward-half class to pull the Blues out of their current malaise, Cuningham completed his second successive match with unrestricted minutes in the VFL on Sunday.

He finished with 26 disposals, seven tackles and two goals in the VFL side's victory over Essendon, adding to the 21 disposals and seven clearances he won on his return the week prior against Frankston, to put his name back in the selection mix.

Cuningham was one of Carlton's four first-round picks alongside Jacob Weitering, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow in the 2015 draft, but has endured an injury-plagued stint at Ikon Park and hasn't featured at senior level in more than two years.


In addition to the ACL injury two years ago, the 26-year-old battled ongoing calf injuries in 2022, dislocated his shoulder in an unfortunate gym accident in February this year, before again hurting his calf upon his return in April.

But the Blues have since been impressed by the manner in which Cuningham has made his most recent comeback from injury and are confident he could soon add to a resume that has featured just 41 AFL games across eight years on the club's list.

Carlton is expecting to regain George Hewett (concussion) and Marc Pittonet (hand) for Sunday's clash with the Suns, with youngster Jaxon Binns also edging closer to an AFL debut after sitting out last weekend's VFL game as a carry-over emergency.


Caleb Marchbank, another Blues player with an extensive injury history, had been due to play his first senior game against the Bombers last week but developed soreness just before the weekend and was forced to be withdrawn.

The intercept defender will now need to make it through training this week in order to feature at either level this weekend, having played just four AFL games in his last four seasons at the club.