Judd relieved no surgery required - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Judd relieved no surgery required

By Roger Vaughan 29/09/2009 05:16:25 PM Comments (0)

Carlton captain Chris Judd has had a lot on his mind in the last month.

But at least there are no operations looming.

The Blues' season ended badly, twice over - first, the narrow elimination final loss to Brisbane and then his three-game suspension for making contact with Michael Rischitelli's face.

A few days after Carlton's appeal against that penalty failed, Judd was one of the victims as team-mate Brendan Fevola made a fool of himself at the Brownlow Medal.

The Blues will decide this week whether the time has come to let go their problem child and goal-kicking machine.

But for all this, at least Judd will not have to think about surgery.

The star Blues midfielder has needed a post-season operation for four of the last five years.

"To finish the year off with no operations means the eight weeks off is a lot more fun," Judd said.

"It also means you're ready to go, to come back (for) pre-season and it holds you in good stead for the season ahead.

"Instead of doing a lot of rehab work and trying to get your fitness to a reasonable level, you can focus on more specific areas.

"It's good, I'm not walking around (during) the eight weeks off with my arm in a sling, stinking like BO because my shoulder hasn't had any air, not hobbling around after a groin op."

Judd predictably won the club's best and fairest award on Monday night for the second-straight year.

He also finished runner-up in the Brownlow and his transfer from West Coast to Carlton has perhaps even exceeded expectations.

But Judd's absence at the start of the season will mean more pressure on the Blues, who made the finals this year for the first time since 2001.

The Blues skipper admits it will now become harder for the team to keep improving.

"Any improvement now is essentially a lot harder because we are closer to the top of the tree and I guess most journeys are from gross to subtle," he said.

"Initially, you get all the major, gross things right - the better you get, the more subtle the improvements become.

"One of the big things that will happen with this group is playing together for longer and getting a better understanding of how each other plays."

The biggest cheers at Monday night's club best and fairest function were for Fevola and president Stephen Kernahan drew a laugh with his message to the players.

"Boys ... have a good break, enjoy yourselves, be humble, work hard, have a beer, be good and behave yourselves - I'm sure the girls will look after that," he said.

But coach Brett Ratten was much more blunt.

"Just a warning for the players - we've had some misdemeanours," he said.

"If you don't want to do it the Carlton way, you don't have to, you won't be a part of Carlton."

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