Carlton fitness gru calls on AFL to bring back substitutes

Blues fitness chief Andrew Russell has told reporters that Curnow received good news at a key surgical consult on Tuesday morning.

A fresh bout of surgery two weeks ago to remove wires from the troublesome joint that helped the bone heal has been deemed a success.

“When you put wire in it restricts what you can do … the wires actually stuck into his quad,” Russell said.

“It worked really well, [but] we got those wires out and already Charlie is feeling a lot better.

“We’re at a point now where we’re actually starting to get some good strength work into him … how long that takes we don’t know because the time frames are unique with any athlete.”


Russell revealed that Curnow had “an issue” with the same knee as a child.

The added stress of his run of injuries to the same knee will require a complex rehab process designed to strengthen the joint and change the way he distributes force through his whole leg.

Curnow isn’t the only Blue with a long road to recovery ahead of him.

Veteran ruckman Matthew Kreuzer has had surgery to insert a screw into a broken bone in his left foot sustained in the round one loss to Richmond at the MCG.

“Kreuz had a similar injury on his other foot and came back from that without any issues,” Russell said.

“Four months is probably an average return time … it could be slightly quicker or longer.”

Former Sydney defender Nic Newman dislocated his right elbow against the Tigers and has undergone surgery to insert a synthetic ligament that will require eight weeks of recovery.

Russell also called on the AFL to bring back substitutes to help clubs deal with short breaks between games that are expected if and when the season returns from the coronavirus break.

Carlton’s Andrew Russell has called for the return of substitutes in AFL.Credit:Sebastian Costanzo

Russell, a leading conditioning expert, is confident teams will be able to manage three games in a two-week period, but they will need four interchange players and two substitutes to do so.

“That’s exactly what I’d be calling for … I think that flexibility is going to be super important because we do string players out and we do take big risks every week,” Russell said.


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