Charlie Curnow makes successful return in Carlton scratch match, plots AFL comeback

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Charlie Curnow is on track to feature in Carlton’s run home as the club continues to aim for an unlikely spot in the top eight this season.

The oft-injured forward emerged through a scratch match unscathed on Sunday after initially being slated to play in Carlton’s VFL clash against Collingwood before the second-tier competition was postponed due to Victoria’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Carlton’s 28-point win over Collingwood leaves it four points adrift of the eighth-placed Essendon, meaning the Blues are still an outside chance of making the finals, and coach David Teague admitted Curnow could yet feature in the run home.

“His plan is to work his way back into the team,” he said. “From a conditioning point of view he’ll be able to do that, it’ll then come down to a form point of view.”

Teague admitted that Curnow was “rusty” after a two-year hiatus from the game due to injuries, but said the club was pleased with the 24-year-old’s output.

“They had a bit of match simulation. He looked good, he got out there, he ran around, he was smiling, I think everyone was really happy to see him out there,” he said.

“From a performance point of view he was a little bit rusty. He actually looked really good on ground ball, his ground ball takes were really clean.

“His workloads…we got exactly as we wanted out of it. That will class as what we planned to do this week and we’ll just reassess going forward now, it’s a little bit on how he pulls up and also how he performs. He looked pretty happy at the end of the day.”

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