Blues star Stevens set to miss out again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues star Stevens set to miss out again

21/07/2009 06:55:43 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has strongly hinted vice-captain Nick Stevens is still not ready for a recall to the AFL side.

Stevens and Heath Scotland were dropped following the demoralising loss to Essendon in round 13.

Scotland has made his way back into the side but Stevens, battling weight problems, remains stranded in the VFL.

Ratten on Tuesday described Stevens' form in the seconds as "okay."

"He's working hard at his game. I suppose his form last week was okay at Bullants level," Ratten said.

He would not be drawn on whether Stevens would be recalled for Friday's blockbuster against Collingwood.

"That will be assessed tomorrow - but he did okay," he said.

"I don't think it's all about, just, is he going to get 40 touches at Bullants level.

"He's played a lot of football, he's a very good player he's probably in our best 22 when he's up and firing.

"He'll be in the mix but whether he gets a game that will be determined tomorrow.

Ratten said Steven's attitude had been positive despite not yet being able to break back into the senior side.

"(He's been) pretty good. He's responded pretty well, he's working extremely hard on and off the track."

But he agreed his progress had not been ideal.

"I think all players in this situation are a little bit frustrated," Ratten said.

"You'd like to be playing senior footy and getting 30 touches each week and a couple of goals and best on ground and everything working perfectly.

"But that's the game itself - his form hadn't been great so he's gone back and he's just working on his game.

"He's working on all aspects of his game and he'll just keep chipping away at it."

Carlton is waiting on the availability of ruckman Robert Warnock, utility Setanta O'hAilpin, Andrew Walker and Simon Wiggins but Ratten warned against rushing their best players back at the same time.

"For us as a match committee to pick all those blokes at one time could be risky," Ratten said. "You don't want to take a lot of underdone blokes in to games.

"So that will be the big one for us to get right - who to bring in, and the timing might be the key element to getting that right."

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