Carlton faces the prospect of being without gun forward Charlie Curnow until the middle of the year as his injury prognosis worsens.
According to the Herald Sun, the club have conceded there’s no immediately timeframe on his return to the field after his operation in November to repair a broken patella bone in his foot.
He was expected to miss as much as four months from late last year, which had him on track to play in round one but that timeline has since been drastically scaled back.
Carlton football boss Brad Lloyd confirmed the setback, setting a “likely” return date for mid-year.
“As we already communicated to our members and supporters last month, Charlie won’t be available for the start of the season,’’ he told the Herald Sun on Monday.
“This will likely mean a return to the field around the middle of the year.’’ The 22-year-old injured his foot after playing non-competitive basketball with teammates in October.
Curnow played just 11 games in 2019, kicking 18 goals.