Blues’ AFL injury toll prompts wide-ranging review

Roger Vaughan |

Carlton are facing an injury crisis but Michael Voss is happy with the team to meet Gold Coast.
Carlton are facing an injury crisis but Michael Voss is happy with the team to meet Gold Coast.

Carlton are in the midst of a wide-ranging review of their training and fitness after being hit hard by injuries this AFL season.

The Blues have lost three of their last four games and will welcome back Lachie Fogarty, Adam Saad and Lachie Cowan for Saturday’s must-win clash with Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium.

They have named Jacob Weitering, who was subbed out of last week’s loss to Sydney with a corked leg, and coach Michael Voss is adamant the star defender will play.

Earlier this week Carlton had a whopping 14 players on their injury list, many with soft-tissue problems, and Marc Pittonet is the latest casualty with a finger injury.

Voss was short on detail before Friday morning training about what they are reviewing, but was confident they have the team to beat the Suns.

“We’re still working through a few things – there are some short-term things and long-term things that we need to get after,” he said.

“There’s probably a combination of a few different things that go into it.

“But we feel like we have the group out there who will get the job done and that’s all I’m really worried about today.”

Fogarty, who returns from a wrist injury, is a most-welcome addition as a role-playing forward.

When he plays, Carlton have won 14 of their last 16 games and Voss said he might highlight that impressive statistic to the team.

“It’s an extraordinary record, isn’t it … it’s just the importance of the role he’s played,” Voss said.

“He’s tough, clean and hard and accepts his role.”

Saturday afternoon’s game will feature two of the better midfields in the AFL, with Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh and Matthew Kennedy going up against Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson and Touk Miller.

“Hopefully we can get after a couple, but we’re also backing our boys in to make sure we obviously can bring that collective effort,” Voss said of the midfield match-ups.

“Everything that we’ve ever spoken about, that you’ve heard us on repeat, is around how we start at the contest. It felt like we fell short last week in that area.

“It’s something that’s stood up quite well over time.

“So I guess we’re trying to make sure we get that in the right space.”

Gold Coast, who are coming off a big win over Geelong in Darwin, have brought back co-captain Jarrod Witts, Nick Holman, Jed Walter and Jake Rogers.