Charlie Curnow is close to an AFL return

Charlie Curnow is closing in on his long awaited return to the football field. Photo: Carlton Football Club

Charlie Curnow is closing in on his long awaited return to football.

He hasn’t been seen on a footy field in a competitive match since injuring his knee in the first quarter against Fremantle at Optus Stadium during Round 15 2019. However, after a spate of knee injuries and setbacks, Charlie Curnow is on the cusp of returning in the coming weeks.

The star forward is in the final weeks of a month-long training and conditioning block, priming Curnow for a return to action in the VFL in the coming weeks.

Director of High-Performance Andrew Russell confirmed on Tuesday that Curnow is edging closer to a return to the playing field having completed the training block.

“Those who have watched training have been really excited by Charlie, he’s moving really well,” Russell said to Carlton Media on Tuesday.

“He’s coming to the back-end of that month’s block of conditioning that he needed to play.

“He’ll continue with that training block and is a chance to play VFL in the upcoming weeks.”

It’s fantastic news for Carlton and coach David Teague who has only coached 3 games with Curnow in the starting line-up. One of which, Curnow kicked a career-high seven goals against the Western Bulldogs in his last completed game at AFL level.

Teague said on Thursday that the time is drawing nearer and nearer for the 24-year-old.

“He’s getting close. It won’t be this week, but it will be in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“He’s training well, I know he would probably put his hand up for this week if he could, but we’ll stick to the plan. Probably not this week but in the coming weeks after that.”

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Teague was full of praise for the young forward’s attitude and the way Curnow has carried himself during his time on the sidelines. A bubbly and excitable character on the field is no different from the person off the field.

“If you know Charlie you know he’s always up and about, even when things aren’t going well he seems to find a way,” Teague said.

“He’s a beautiful person when it comes to that, he’s a carer, lover and he loves people so he’s up and about.

“I’ve got no doubt he’ll be a little bit anxious once he gets that final chance to play but if you’re watching him train, he’s pushing it, he wants to bring it forward every week, he wants to start playing now.”

Teague added that the time on the sidelines has been constructive for Curnow helping him grow as a leader among the playing group, which he believes will hold him in good stead when he returns to action shortly.

“I think what he has done is grown his leadership during this period where he’s been able to sit back, take the emotion of the game out and then help his mates and that’s something I think we’ll hopefully get the benefit of when he’s back out there.”

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