Carlton remain uncertain when Charlie Curnow will fully recover from a significant knee injury but he has received some positive news with his surgeon giving him the green light to ramp up his training loads.
The 23-year-old has endured a wretched run, requiring surgery after dislocating and breaking his right patella in separate incidents late last year.
He had an operation in November to fix the patella he broke when he slipped on some tiles.
That came after he sustained ligament damage in the same knee in a round 15 win over Fremantle, then he dislocated the same patella while playing basketball with friends in October.
Blues fitness chief Andrew Russell has told reporters that Curnow received good news at a key surgical consult on Tuesday morning.
A fresh bout of surgery two weeks ago to remove wires from the troublesome joint that helped the bone heal has been deemed a success.
"When you put wire in it restricts what you can do ... the wires actually stuck into his quad," Russell said.
"It worked really well, (but) we got those wires out and already Charlie is feeling a lot better.
"We're at a point now where we're actually starting to get some good strength work into him ... how long that takes we don't know because the time frames are unique with any athlete."
Russell revealed that Curnow had "an issue" with the same knee as a child.
The added stress of his run of injuries to the same knee will require a complex rehab process designed to strengthen the joint and change the way he distributes force through his whole leg.
Curnow isn't the only Blue with a long road to recovery ahead of him.
Veteran ruckman Matthew Kreuzer has had surgery to insert a screw into a broken bone in his left foot sustained in the round one loss to Richmond at the MCG.
"Kreuz had a similar injury on his other foot and came back from that without any issues," Russell said.
"Four months is probably an average return time ... it could be slightly quicker or longer."
Former Sydney defender Nic Newman dislocated his right elbow against the Tigers and has undergone surgery to insert a synthetic ligament that will require eight weeks of recovery.
Australian Associated Press