THE Blues could welcome back up to four key players for Sunday’s clash against Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium.
Matthew Kreuzer (heart), Jacob Weitering (calf), Matthew Wright (soreness) and Darcy Lang (ankle) are in contention for the Round 18 match, but must pass fitness tests later this week.
Head of Football Andrew McKay said Kreuzer would need clearance from the specialists to be considered available for selection.
“Matthew (Kreuzer) came off the ground last weekend with shortness of breath. It was discovered he had an elevated heart rate. He’s seeing a specialist this week and that specialist will have to give his tick of approval before we can consider him for selection this week,” McKay said.
“Darcy (Lang) had an ankle niggle during training last week and didn’t get up to play. We’re confident he’ll be available this week but he needs to get through training first so he’ll be a test at the end of the week.
“Matt (Wright) was quite sore after the Brisbane game and because it was only a six-day break, he didn’t quite get up for the game last week. We’re confident he’ll be OK this week but we’ll need to test him to ensure that is the case.
“Like Matthew and Darcy, as well as Matt, Jacob (Weitering) will need to get through this week. He hurt his calf during the game in Brisbane and didn’t play last weekend. It’s only a mild calf injury so he’ll be a test to see whether he can get up for the game or not.”
Youngster Tom De Koning will also be in line for selection this week, after overcoming a hamstring issue.
“Tom had a mild hamstring strain, and he’ll be a test at the end of the week. We’re hopeful he’ll be OK to play,” McKay said.
Youngster Harrison Macreadie (hamstring) is a chance to play this week, while midfielder Sam Kerridge is likely to return within the next fortnight as he manages a groin injury.
“Sam (Kerridge) has been out for a little while with his groin issues – he’ll still be another week away but he’s making some really good progress,” McKay said.
“Harrison (Macreadie) has been out for quite some time with that hamstring strain. He’ll be a test at the end of the week and it will be touch-and-go to see if he can play. If he’s not right this week, he’ll certainly be available the following week.”
David Cuningham will miss the remainder of the season with a severe hamstring strain, while Jesse Glass-McCasker will face a race against the clock to be available for a return from a knee injury before season’s end.
“David (Cuningham) sustained the hamstring strain a number of weeks ago. It was a significant strain and he’ll miss the remainder of the season. But he’ll be back and ready for pre-season come November 1,” McKay said.
“Jesse (Glass-McCasker) had that medial issue and subsequent bone bruising around his knee. He’s been out for a number of weeks now and is more likely about four to five weeks away from a return. We’ll still need to determine whether he’ll play any sort of football before season’s end.”
The Blues face the Hawks at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with the bounce at 1:10pm.
Injury list pre-Round 18
Matthew Kreuzer – Heart – Test
Matthew Wright – Soreness – Test
Darcy Lang – Ankle – Test
Jacob Weitering – Calf – Test
Harrison Macreadie – Hamstring – Test
Tom De Koning – Hamstring – Test
Sam Kerridge – Groin – 1 Week
Jesse Glass-McCasker – Knee – 4 Weeks
David Cuningham – Hamstring – 4-6 Weeks
Andrew Phillips – Hamstring – Season
Tom Williamson – Back – Season
Sam Docherty – Knee – Season
Alex Silvagni – Achilles – Season
Lachie Plowman – Knee – Season
Source: Carlton Blues website