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Sam set for pre-season return

Sam set for pre-season return

CARLTON co-captain Sam Docherty is eyeing a 2020 AFL pre-season return from consecutive knee reconstructions.

Docherty hasn’t played since Round 23, 2017 due to back-to-back anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears – but aims to feature in Carlton’s 2020 Marsh Community Series games in Mandurah and at Ikon Park.

“I’m pretty excited to get out and play at Ikon Park to be honest – I’m sick of training and running around the outside of it, so being in the middle will be a lot more enjoyable,” Docherty said at the pre-season fixture announcement.

Docherty said he’d dropped some upper body weight and would head to Philadelphia this week – following the likes of Nic Naitanui and Christian Petracca – for specialised post-knee reconstruction training.

“I tried to trim back a bit of my upper body weight and I’m probably down about four or five kilos on what I was last time,” he said.

“I head to the (United) States on Friday – (I’m) going to see Bill Knowles the world-renowned knee specialist in Philly with one of our physios.

“So pretty excited to do that and then get back training.”

Having injured his knee in November 2017, then again in December 2018, Docherty said he would have a lighter training period this time around before building towards a return.

“Through November and December we’re probably going to take it a bit lighter and just get it absolutely as far as we can get it before I actually have to ramp it up and do my contact work and everything else,” he said.

“So really confident in what we’re doing and I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”

Docherty was also looking forward to playing alongside Eddie Betts, after the Crow re-joined his former club in the trade period.

Meanwhile, Carlton has been linked to selecting former Saint Jack Newnes as a delisted free agent, while Docherty said he hoped to see in-limbo Sun Jack Martin join the Blues.

“I haven’t spoken to ‘Newnesy’ – I spoke to Jack (Martin) when we were going through the trade period but not a whole heap – hopefully we can get him in the next month or so.

“(On Newnes) I’m not sure what happens with the delisted free agents … we’ll just have to wait and see when that opens up and we’ll see what happens from there.”

© AAP 2019