Carlton will give Matthew Kreuzer until the last minute to prove his fitness to play Gold Coast.Carlton will give star ruckman Matthew Kreuzer until the last minute to prove his fitness for their AFL match against Gold Coast.
Kreuzer returned after leaving the ground with groin soreness but was obviously in discomfort during last week’s round-one loss to Richmond.
He remains in doubt for Saturday’s match against the Suns at Etihad Stadium.
“We’re going to give him every opportunity – he’s really determined to play, we know how Kreuz goes about it,” said coach Brendon Bolton.
“We’ll leave it to the deadline.”
Bolton added that Harry McKay was a chance to play should Kreuzer pull out.
The Blues made two changes, losing Matthew Kennedy to an ankle injury and dropping Jack Silvagni.
Bolton is hopeful Kennedy only misses a week, while Silvagni’s omission is no surprise after he had minimal impact against the Tigers.
“It’s just not unusual – Jack’s a 20-year-old, learning the craft of forward play,” Bolton said.
“He has some areas to develop but he’s really, really determined to grow those.”
Former Port Adelaide defender Cam O’Shea will make his Carlton debut and the Blues have recalled David Cuningham.
Defender Sam Rowe will also resume in the VFL this weekend as he returns from a knee reconstruction.
Saturday will also be Marc Murphy’s 100th game as Carlton captain.
The Blues impressed against Richmond, kicking the opening five goals in 12 minutes before the reigning premiers steadied and won.
Bolton said commentator Paul Roos summed up their performance well – they need to find the right balance between attack and defence.
“The game requires you to play to the rivet, play to the last,” Bolton said
“So last week there were some really promising signs with our ball movement and there’s also some growth we need to address this week.”
Stuart Dew started his AFL senior coaching career by leading Gold Coast to a win over North Melbourne in a waterlogged Cairns match.
The Suns have also regained Aaron Hall.
“It looks like they’re playing for (Dew) – their contested game has grown and their pressure has grown,” Bolton said.
Suns co-captain Tom Lynch kicked a career-best seven goals against Carlton in round four last season and his team won.
Blues defender Liam Jones held him goalless in round 13 and Carlton won.
Bolton said Jones would start on Lynch but added team defence would be their focus against the star Suns forward.