A NUMBER of sidelined Blues are expected to be available upon the return of pre-season. 

Carlton ended the season with a number of key contributors on the sidelines, with the likes of Charlie Curnow and Liam Jones missing the final rounds of the 2019 campaign. 

However, when wrapping up the injury situation for the year, Director of High Performance Andrew Russell said Carlton expected around “80 to 90 per cent of our squad” ready to go from the opening day. 

“We’ve come to the end of the 2019 season and we’re in a good spot physically,” Russell said.

“We don’t have too many issues going on with our playing group, we don’t have too many surgeries. 

“Charlie [Curnow] — we expect him to do a full conditioning running program when he’s away from the Club and be ready to go day one of pre-season.

‘’Jonesy’ has settled down well. It won’t impact his pre-season in any way, shape or form.”

When pre-season comes around again, the Blues will be buoyed by the return of Sam Docherty, after the co-captain missed the home-and-away season with a torn ACL. 

Russell said the Blues would adopt a cautious approach with the former John Nicholls Medal winner, building his training loads heading into the new year. 

“Docherty has done a very good, solid rehab with Dan James and Matthew Bode over the winter,” he said.

“He’s in a really good spot physically and in a really good spot mentally.

“He’s going overseas to do some work with an expert in the US. He comes back from that and will do some ball work from day one of pre-season.

“We’ll probably build him up over the first two months and we expect after Christmas and in January, he’s in the full program.”

Two on the longer-term injuries coming out the back-end of the year were Caleb Marchbank and Tom Williamson. 

Russell said both would hopefully return in early November.

“‘Marchy’s’ injury is healing as expected. He’s still in the neck brace, which is a little uncomfortable for him: we think he’ll be back training in the early stages of pre-season,” he said.

“Tommy’s back, we’ve taken really slowly and given it lots of healing time. We’ve been doming some great strengthening work where he’s showing some really good progression.”