Matthew Kreuzer set for VFL return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matthew Kreuzer set for VFL return

By Greg Buckle 17/05/2011 05:22:30 PM Comments (0)

Matthew Kreuzer is finally ready for his VFL comeback but only after Carlton coach Brett Ratten failed in his bid to get the ruck-forward on the field earlier.

The 2007 No.1 draft pick suffered a major knee injury in round 13 last year against Fremantle and is now only a few weeks away from resuming his 56-game AFL career.

"It will be great to get the big fellow back in action," Ratten said on Tuesday.

The 200cm Kreuzer is set to play half a game for the Blues' VFL affiliates the Northern Bullants against Werribee on Saturday and could be just three weeks away from a senior recall.

"About a week ago I was trying to push the sports science side to push him back a week or two earlier," Ratten said.

"It would have been nice because he's marking everything in one of our (training) drills, but he's going to take a little bit of time.

"For our supporters and for our playing group to see him out there running around again will be very encouraging.

"We took a conservative approach to make sure that everything was cherry ripe.

"We don't want him to play one week or two weeks and have a spell. We want him to keep playing football and gradually build that up.

"It will depend on how the knee goes, how it responds to more combat in games and how he feels as well.

"The intensity will go up and I think he'll be blowing the candles out after five or 10 minutes, even at VFL level."

Kreuzer's return will be a bonus for Carlton who are already sailing along nicely in fourth spot on the AFL ladder after eight rounds.

However Friday night's clash with the unbeaten Geelong at Etihad Stadium will be a giant challenge for the Blues, who will be without utility Ed Curnow because of a shoulder injury.

Ratten said Brock McLean was close to earning his first senior game of the year after strong form for the Bullants, while Jeremy Laidler (hamstring) and Simon White (general soreness) were also pressing hard for places in the side.

"Definitely Jeremy (Laidler) will come back in so we'll have to see if we make any more changes," Ratten said.

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