IN UNPRECEDENTED times, the threat of injury has been discussed often in football circles.
As Carlton’s Director of High Performance Andrew Russell said, “you’re going to lose guys” if the work isn’t put in.
It’s why it was imperative the playing group adhered to the training program, which - according to Russell himself - was absolutely the case.
Speaking to Carlton Media, Russell said the manner in which the players attacked the time away from Ikon Park had the team in a position to perform.
“We’ve got a highly motivated group right now. They did the work over the break: I was really happy with the playing group,” Russell said.
“It has allowed us to train pretty hard this week… we had a great week.
“I think we’re getting the balance right at the moment and we’re preparing well for Round 2.”
One of those players who lived that mantra during the recent layoff was first-year Blue, Brodie Kemp.
While Russell said it was unlikely that Carlton would risk the first-round draft pick, he said Kemp had returned to the Club “a different athlete”.
“He has done his program well and he looks strong, more dynamic,” he said.
Get the lowdown on the latest injury news coming out of Ikon Park, with positive updates on a number of Blues.#OwnTheFuture— Carlton FC (at ??) (@CarltonFC) May 22, 2020
“He’s probably a couple of weeks away from doing introduction ball work with the boys, which is pretty exciting.
“He’ll certainly be back training with the boys and doing high-quality skill training before the end of the season.”
Russell said he fully expects the players to embrace the restrictions eased on Monday, which will allow for two contact sessions per week.
“They’re going to be able to tackle each other and do what they love doing and go back to the under-eights,” he said.
“They’ve been extremely respectful of the social distancing rules and the guidelines which the AFL has put in place.
“As soon as those guidelines come up, then they’ll be out and at each other.”