McGovern back to boost Blues' attack

Shayne Hope
Mitch McGovernis will return for Carlton's final preseason match on Sunday

Carlton will welcome back Mitch McGovern for their final preseason hit-out this week as they seek to pull together a forward line capable of kicking a winning score against Richmond in round one.

McGovern has had his training loads managed in recent weeks and missed last week's defeat to Fremantle.

He will line up alongside fellow tall forward Levi Casboult when the Blues host Brisbane at Ikon Park on Sunday evening.

Veteran goal sneak Eddie Betts, who represented the All-Stars in last week's bushfire relief match, will also return for his first appearance in navy blue since returning from Adelaide.

But Harry McKay (groin) is unlikely to feature until at least round two and Charlie Curnow (knee) may not play in the first half of the season.

The absence of the two key talls leaves a heavy burden on McGovern and Casboult to provide marking targets and kick goals.

"Levi's been shouldering a fair bit of the responsibility from a key forward role over the majority of preseason, so to have some back-up (is important)," Carlton forwards coach Cameron Bruce said.

"We saw what Mitch is capable of when he gets a really good block of training in, as he did last season.

"He's such a smart player and our forward line functions a lot better when he's in there, so it will be really important to get him out there and being able to contribute."

Bruce said improved ball movement would be crucial to Carlton's attacking potency after identifying they had not moved it fast enough or taken enough risks against Fremantle.

"We didn't play in a manner that was as flowing as we would've liked," Bruce said.

"We want to be scoring much more than what we did on the weekend.

"Whether Mitch is kicking goals or anyone in the forward line or anyone else on the ground, we want to be a higher scoring side."

Young livewire Sam Petrevski-Seton is a chance to return from a quad injury against Brisbane as the Blues look to pick a side as close to full-strength as possible.