‘I don’t think he has lost anything’: Charlie Curnow rejoins full training

Carlton veteran Ed Curnow has revealed younger brother Charlie has rejoined full training and insists there is no reason why Charlie cannot return to his athletic best despite repeated knee issues which have meant he has missed almost two years of football.

Charlie Curnow, 24, played his last match for the Blues in round 15, 2019, a fortnight after he had booted seven goals against the Western Bulldogs.

Charlie Curnow watches on from the stands during a Carlton training session in February.Credit:Getty Images

“We finish training and then he will go and do extra running or sprints. He looks in really good condition.

“He probably just needs to do a bit more landing under heat from opponents. He is doing a bit of work with ‘Weiters’ [Jacob Weitering]. As an impatient brother, he looks really good, and I am like: ‘Why can’t he play?’

“I would expect him to be pressing his case [for selection] towards the end of the next month.”

Charlie Curnow has played only 58 matches since being selected with pick 12 in the 2015 national draft but his importance was evident when he and Ed finished equal third in the John Nicholls’ medal count in 2018.

While his career has been stalled by a fractured right kneecap, a hairline stress issue in the same knee, and then a patella problem last November, the Blues say there is no reason to think Curnow has lost any of the athleticism which had made him such a dynamic force.

“I don’t think he has lost anything. I think that’s the reason, which is really smart, why he is putting in a solid block of training,” Ed Curnow said.

“That’s just to make sure he has utmost confidence in his body that he can do the amazing things we know that Charlie can do on the ground, where he can jump high, take a hanger and hit the ground running.”

In an underwhelming season when the Blues have slipped to a 4-7 win-loss record and are 13th on the ladder, they must defeat the seventh-placed Eagles at the SCG to have any chance of maintaining hopes of a return to the finals for the first time since 2013.

The Blues have not beaten a top-eight side this season, botching six opportunities, but a weakened Eagles, with key forward Josh Kennedy among the omissions and playing at a venue they last won at in 1999, presents an ideal chance to rectify this record.

The Blues’ ball use, decision making and inability to defend through the corridor have been ongoing issues.

“If we can really nail down our defensive attitude and ability to number off when you can’t impact or influence the ball, I think that is going to go a long way,” Curnow said.

“I am pretty confident we know how to score, we know how to move the ball quite well, it’s just … at times we get focused into our one role, our one area, and we are not able to impact or co-ordinate with other players to defend as a team as much as we would like. That’s an area we have certainly been coaching through the week and we need to make a change.”

Carlton v top eight teams this season

Round one: v Tigers (lost by 25 points)
Round five: v Power (lost by 28 points)
Round six: v Lions (lost by 18 points)
Round eight: v Bulldogs (lost by 16 points)
Round nine: v Demons (lost by 26 points)
Round 11: v Swans (lost by 22 points)

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