No alarm bells over injury flurry at Blues

AFL Rd 5 - Carlton v Adelaide
Adam Saad (left) and Mitch McGovern suffered hamstring strains in Carlton’s loss to Adelaide last week. Picture: Dylan Burns / Getty Images

Carlton coach Michael Voss says the Blues are constantly reviewing their football department but he does not believe a raft of soft tissue injuries to senior players is a glaring concern.

The Blues were dealt a blow on top of their first defeat of the season with Adam Saad and Mitch McGovern succumbing to hamstring strains against Adelaide on Saturday.

Important midfielder Adam Cerra also suffered a strain in the week of the match, while injury-riddled forwards Jesse Motlop and Jack Martin recently suffered fresh hamstring setbacks and are expected to be unavailable for at least a month.

Voss said he was not particularly concerned by the spate of injuries as he still considered the returns of McGovern and Cerra against Geelong in round 7 “a possibility” despite the duo’s injury history.

“We’re always constantly looking at ourselves in every single area, whether that’s out on the field or whether that’s through our program,” Voss said.

AFL Rd 5 -  Carlton v Adelaide
Mitch McGovern (left) and Adam Saad were struck down by hamstring injuries in Carlton’s loss to Adelaide last week. Picture: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

“We also appreciate that at times during the season you’re not always going to have your best team available.

“Obviously we lost a couple of people on a short turnaround, but from our point of view we just move on … you might have a run in round 12, or you might have a run in round 5 – at the moment we’ve had that, but it’s not really something we can do much about for (Saturday).”

Voss was reluctant to build up the GWS clash at Marvel Stadium on Saturday as a major test of how his side was tracking, but said Carlton would need to defend at its best against the top-of-the-table side.

The coach did not think the Blues gained any real advantage from the absence of star Giants defender Sam Taylor, who was also missing when his side rolled Carlton at Docklands in round 24 last season.

Voss said he was eager to see if the Blues could stretch the Giants by tackling Kieren Briggs with two specialist ruckmen.

Carlton vs Adelaide
Marc Pittonet (centre) and Tom De Koning (right) will again ruck in tandem against the Giants, but Voss did not rule out rotating Harry McKay through centre bounces as well. Picture: Michael Klein

Marc Pittonet, who had been managing an ankle issue but performing strongly in the VFL, returned for his first game of the season in the loss to the Crows.

“I think that the big thing is we’ve got some unique strengths about us, we’ve also got some unique flexibility as well,” Voss said.

“We’re afforded the opportunity to be able to play two rucks with Pitto and Tom in really strong form, it might ask a couple of questions of the opposition as well.

“And likewise, we’ve obviously had a different look with ‘H’ (McKay) in the ruck as well, so we feel that’s a unique strength that we have.”

Voss said Sam Walsh was “ready to go” again after recovering well from his blistering return against the Crows in which he had 34 disposals, 13 tackles and eight clearances.

“(Walsh is feeling) really good, the way he was able to come in speaks to his professionalism, his preparation and what our conditioning team was able to do to get him back and be able to play in that certain way,” he said.

“He’s been able to get out and train and do what he’s needed to during the week, so he’s ready to go.”