Blues play it safe with Kreuzer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues play it safe with Kreuzer

By Sam Lienert 21/06/2010 11:04:05 PM Comments (0)

Carlton have opted for a conventional knee reconstruction for ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, rather than the LARS technique that could have delivered a faster AFL comeback.

The 21-year-old will have surgery on Tuesday to repair the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, after going down early in the Blues' loss to Fremantle on Saturday night.

Kreuzer's season would have been over even if the Blues chose the LARS option - involving a synthetic graft - rather than the conventional method, in which a graft will be taken from the patella tendon.

The synthetic option has enabled players such as Port Adelaide's David Rodan and Sydney's Nick Malceski, to return to the field within four months of a reconstruction.

It compares to an expected rehabilitation timeframe of nine months or more using a natural graft, meaning Kreuzer is likely to miss the entire 2011 pre-season.

But, with uncertainty about how durable the synthetic graft might prove over the duration of Kreuzer's career, the Blues decided on the more cautious approach.

"Following discussions with the medical team and Matthew it was decided to have the more conventional surgery that uses a graft taken from the patella tendon," the Blues said in a statement.

"This decision was based on what is considered to be the best for Matthew's long-term future."

Kreuzer was the AFL's No.1 draft pick in 2007 and has played 56 matches, without missing any, since making his debut in round three, 2008.

Carlton coach Brett Ratten was confident his young star would make a complete recovery given his professionalism, but admitted the Blues were taking the cautious route with his recovery.

"He's young and got a lot of footy to play, so we've really looked after him, making sure we go through the 10 months off and making sure he gets it right," Ratten told the Ten Network on Monday night.

Ratten said he spent two hours with Kreuzer and the ruckman's parents on Sunday discussing the injury and recovery, and pointed to other big men who had successfully returned from serious knee injuries.

"(Former Essendon and Hawthorn star) Paul Salmon did a knee early in his career and he played 370-odd games and was a champion on the game," he said.

"I think it will help Matthew and from an education point ... Matty Capuano is our ruck coach and development coach and he'll spend a bit more time with him, and he did a knee early in his career as well."

Ratten said Kreuzer's absence would now create a contest between Robert Warnock and Shaun Hampson to have a presence at stoppages.

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