Early AFL season blow for coach Mick Malthouse and his team.
The Carlton Blues will be without their star ruckman Matthew Kreuzer for more than three months, after the club announced he will undergo surgery on his right foot.
The injury-plagued Carlton ruckman is suffering from complications after screws were inserted into his right foot last September and needs it to be looked at again.
Fresh surgery would see Kreuzer sidelined for at least 12 weeks in a massive blow to Mick Malthouse’s 0-2 Blues.
Kreuzer was a late withdrawal from Thursday night’s 12-point loss to Richmond at the MCG because of ongoing soreness.
His immediate playing future rests on two running sessions at the club over the coming days.
“If doesn’t pull up well, then we will need to reassess,” Carlton football boss Andrew McKay said.
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But the Blues are hopeful that will not be the case and are still planning on the 2007 No.1 draft pick being available for Sunday’s MCG showdown against Essendon at the MCG.
Kreuzer, 24, has struggled with the injury across the pre-season and may require a new screw in the bone.
“We’re confident that it will be all right, well certainly he is which is the most important thing, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes mid-week,” McKay said.
“He had some pain there before the Port Adelaide game (Round 1) and 48 hours after that … and we thought we’d let him rest for another week. It’s a tricky one because during the pre-season he was fine.”
Kreuzer will run on an Ultra G machine today and do laps on Monday.
He fractured the foot in last year’s finals victory against the Tigers and missed the Blues’ second final against Sydney.
The Blues need to weigh-up the dangers of Kreuzer doing more extensive damage if he continues to play through pain.
He has played 105 games for Carlton since debuting in 2008 but just 62 in the last four AFL seasons.
Suspended Blue Andrew Walker will return for Sunday’s Essendon game.
Skipper Chris Judd (Achilles) will return in Round 5 against the Western Bulldogs, while Andrew Carazzo (calf) will resume in the VFL in a week.
Brisbane Lions recruit Sam Docherty (knee/quad) will also play VFL next Sunday.