Carlton will bank on midfield gun Marc Murphy’s shoulder holding up as he seeks to help continue their AFL season revival against North Melbourne on Friday evening.
The reigning best and fairest has been named for the vital Etihad Stadium clash, even though in yet another significant improve, crucial defender Lachie Henderson will return from a groin injury a week earlier than expected.
Murphy, out since copping a serious shoulder injury in a massive bump from Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield in round eight, survived a fitness test earlier this week and again on Thursday.
The Blues have won just two of six video games in his absence.
Thursday’s test concerned fellow midfielders Ed Curnow and Andrew Carrazzo dishing out bumps and tackles to see how Murphy’s heavily-strapped left shoulder coped.
“It is fantastic to be back in the group,” Murphy explained right after coming by way of that examination.
“It is tough sitting in the stands viewing, so I am actually searching forward to tomorrow evening to be out playing yet again.
“Hopefully I can play my part in ensuring the group continues the form shown against Collingwood last week.”
Earlier, Murphy had used only his correct arm at times while marking at education.
But midfield coach Mark Riley insisted he had total selection of motion with the left and that the Blues would not be playing him if there was any danger of even more harm.
“We won’t be taking any hazards with a player of that good quality,” Riley informed reporters.
Henderson’s return is just as considerable, offered Carlton’s dearth of accessible tall players.
Even though he will be important to combat the Kangaroos’ in-type tall forwards, he could also be swung forward, exactly where the Blues lack a tall target right after Shaun Hampson went down final week with a season-ending knee injury.
The Blues will nonetheless have only one particular real ruckman, with Matthew Kreuzer to once more carry out that job almost unsupported, as he did superbly right after Hampson went off in final round’s watershed win above Collingwood.
Whilst the Kangaroos have Drew Petrie to back Todd Goldstein in the ruck, North coach Brad Scott stated it was not necessarily an benefit for his side that the Blues had only Kreuzer in that function.
“Kreuzer possibly played his greatest game for the year last week, so gamers like that, of that calibre, have a tendency to stage up below pressure,” Scott explained.
“He was magnificent final week.
“So you could seem at it as a weakness, not having a back-up for him.
“Or you could say Kreuzer’s going to devote the majority of time in the ruck. If he’s performing that, he’s going to be a quite influential player.”