Blues Won't Risk Kreuzer In Dogs AFL Clash
Carlton will again be without star ruckman Matthew Kreuzer as they attempt to snap their winless start to the AFL season against the Western Bulldogs.
Blues coach Brendon Bolton said if the decision had been left to Kreuzer, he would be lining up against the Bulldogs on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.
But the club have instead focused on the bigger picture, even though he has recovered from a groin complaint.
"Sometimes, you've got to protect people like 'Kreuz', because he wants to be out there - he's a warrior," said Bolton.
"His injury's not significant anymore. He's pretty much right, but just no training, so I think our medical team made a decision which is right."
The Blues will be strengthened by the return of midfielder Matthew Kennedy and defender Caleb Marchbank from injury.
The 16th-placed Bulldogs aren't travelling much better than Carlton, having won only one of their opening five matches as their 2016 premiership hangover threatens to stretch into a second year.
Coach Luke Beveridge was thrilled to welcome back Lachie Hunter from suspension and Bailey Williams from injury after a dreadful 54-point loss to Fremantle.
"They were probably almost our two best players the previous two weeks so we missed them a little bit," he said on Thursday.
"There'll be a few boys who make way.
"Hopefully, the boys are on top of their game and a hell of a lot better than we were last week. It was a bit of a head scratcher to see it unfold like that.
"I don't think we can be that bad again."