Judd in doubt for Tigers clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Judd in doubt for Tigers clash

By Sam Lienert 25/06/2008 04:20:21 PM Comments (0)

Carlton will make a late decision on skipper Chris Judd's availability for what coach Brett Ratten has billed as a season-shaping AFL clash with Richmond on Saturday.

Judd was concussed in a front-on clash with Essendon captain Matthew Lloyd last Sunday in what Ratten labelled possibly "the biggest hit that he's had in his career".

While the coach said the superstar midfielder had been able to complete light training sessions so far this week, a final call on his fitness will not be made until Friday.

"If I was a betting man I'd say he'd play," Ratten said.

"But like all of our players if he's not 100 per cent, or there is some doubt we won't risk him, especially with a head injury like that."

Judd was clearly below his best after the first-quarter collision, initially taking a long time to stand up, then coming on and off the bench to be assessed throughout the rest of the match.

"I don't think he felt 100 per cent during the game, that was the feedback out of that," Ratten said.

"It was a big hit, two blokes, Matthew Lloyd, eyes on the footy and close to 100kg running into you and hitting probably in the right spot tipped him over.

"Maybe it was the biggest hit that he's had in his career."

Judd's fitness will be a critical factor in what looms as the most significant clash in seven years between the two traditional rivals, neither of whom have made the finals since 2001.

The 10th-placed Blues are two points out of the top eight, with 11th-placed Richmond another two points back.

"It could be a defining game for us, it could shape our season to give us hope and confidence going forward, or it could diminish that sort of hope and confidence, so it is a big game for us," Ratten said.

Another Blues midfielder, Andrew Carrazzo, is in a similar situation to Judd, needing to prove his fitness after also been concussed on the weekend.

"I'd say the likelihood is they will play but we'll give them until Friday to make that assessment," Ratten said.

Meanwhile, he said the Blues match committee would be putting plenty of discussion into decreasing the scoring load shouldered by Brendan Fevola.

The spearhead could not have played much better than he did in his seven-goal haul against the Bombers, but it was still not enough to get them over the line.

"We've spoken a bit about it this week in the fact that we need to bring other players into the picture a bit and see if we can put the opposition under a little bit more pressure," Ratten said.

In some good news on the injury front, Andrew Walker and Jordan Bannister will both resume through the VFL this weekend, ahead of a possible AFL return after the mid-season break.

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