Carlton veteran Chris Judd is set for more pre-season game time to ensure he is match-fit ahead of their AFL round one clash with Port Adelaide.
Carlton veteran Chris Judd is set for more AFL pre-season game time after the Blues admitted he was underdone last year.
The former skipper, in his 13th AFL season, only played in the NAB Cup final against Brisbane last year following post-season shoulder surgery.
Carlton’s director of coaching Rob Wiley said the dual Brownlow Medallist could expect more action to get him firing for their round-one clash with Port Adelaide on March 16 at Etihad Stadium.
“Whether you are into your 14th or 15th season, or whether you are into your first, it’s about getting enough game time so that you are ready,” Wiley told reporters on Tuesday.
“Chris only had one game last year and that probably wasn’t quite enough.
“He will probably see a little bit more game time leading into round one.”
The Blues are drawn to play two NAB Challenge matches against North Melbourne in North Ballarat on February 15 and Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on February 24 plus a practice game at Visy Park against the Western Bulldogs on March 7.
Gun recruit Dale Thomas is also on target to play in the pre-season competition. The star midfielder is now in full training after recovering from the troublesome ankle injury that restricted him to just five matches last season for Collingwood.
“There’s every chance he will play in the first NAB match,” Wiley said.
“His training last week was probably the best he has had.
“We have said all along he will be ready for round one and nothing has changed there.”
Wiley said the Blues were always confident that Thomas could overcome the ankle problem despite Collingwood casting doubt on his playing future.
“We put enough homework in and we knew we were always going to get a smart footballer,” Wiley said.
“His voice, his leadership, his ability to play football has added a lot to our football side.
“We believe that everything was above board and is tracking along nicely.”
Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, who missed Carlton’s finals campaign with a foot injury, is almost back into full training and set to play in the practice games.
Lachie Henderson will have minor surgery on his iliotibial band to release tightness in his left thigh, Carlton football operations manager Andrew McKay said on Tuesday night.
“Lachie has been aggravated by tightness in his leg for the past week, so we thought it’s best that he have the procedure now,” McKay said.
“Lachie will be back running again in 10 days. So while this is a minor disruption to his pre-season, he will be ready to go for round one.”