Kreuzer set to return for Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kreuzer set to return for Blues

Robert Grant 07/06/2011 03:15:51 PM Comments (0)

Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer is in line to finally play his first AFL game in 12 months this weekend after overcoming a serious knee injury.

Blues coach Brett Ratten says the 22-year-old has been improving steadily each week in the VFL since his return last month.

Kreuzer has spent time up forward and in the ruck for the Northern Bullants in the VFL.

He ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament against Fremantle in round 13 last year.

Ratten said Kreuzer would be "very close" to selection for the clash with Brisbane at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

"He played 95 per cent (of the VFL game), 75 the week before and 50 per cent so it will just depend on how the knee responds during the week," Ratten said on Tuesday.

"I had a chat to him this morning and he feels pretty good. He felt the difference between this week and last week was a fair bit so his confidence is on the rise.

"The biggest battle for him will probably be his own battle with his own expectations."

Ratten said the key issue involving Kreuzer's selection was his effectiveness in his preferred ruck role, which he tackled last week.

"He played predominantly in the ruck - like 60-40 - where before he probably played more as a forward and was probably starved of opportunities," said Ratten.

"He got back to where he plays his best footy.

"He felt really comfortable in and around the footy and when he went up forward he scored goals as well.

"It was really good for him to get some familiarity around the position that he plays and loves and he just hunts the footy up so I think that just gave him a bit more confidence."

Fellow ruckman Robert Warnock, who has missed two games with concussion, will also be available, but Ratten said he was unsure about playing too many big men against the Lions.

"The big debate is how many big blokes you go in with and the run and playing at Etihad as well," he said.

In Warnock's absence, Shaun Hampson and Setanta O'hAilpin have shared the ruck duties for the Blues in the last few weeks.

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