Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps is getting back to full fitness following off-season shoulder surgery.
The former AFLPA MVP suffered three ‘instability episodes’ on his left shoulder during 2020 and opted to undergo surgery after the season.
Blues director of high performance Andrew Russell said the club has a different plan for Cripps across the 2021 off-season.
“He’s basically doing 95% of the training now, so he’s in great shape,” Russell told the club’s website.
“He’s had a fantastic off-season, he worked hard on his body strength.
“We tried to make him a bit lighter last year and get his run up, but we’ve gone back to making him strong.”
Blues defender Nic Newman suffered a season-ending knee injury in Round 1 of 2020 against Richmond, but is expected to be ready to go sooner rather than later.
“Newy’s knee is going well. It takes a long time to get strength back in that leg after you’ve had such a significant injury,” Russell said.
“He’s still got a bit of work to do on that quad strength, glute strength and calf strength on that side but he’s progressing. He’s doing some skills.
“It won’t be too far away if he isn’t ready for Round 1.”