Weekend crucial for Blues' Jarrad Waite - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Weekend crucial for Blues' Jarrad Waite

By Guy Hand 31/08/2011 05:39:30 PM Comments (0)

Carlton and Jarrad Waite's hopes of playing a meaningful role in the AFL finals will be heavily determined this weekend - without a ball being kicked.

Waite's problematic hip, which has sidelined him for nearly two months, will be tested over running sessions on Friday and at the weekend.

Any more dramas, and Blues coach Brett Ratten admits there is a chance the key position star's season will be shelved.

And that could be catastrophic for a Carlton side crying out for the forward target Waite provides, with finals sudden-death awaiting in a fortnight.

Ratten admitted Waite's progress had stalled in recent days, and the club was at a critical juncture in how they dealt with one of their most important players.

"He won't play this week. He ran yesterday and he's got another running session Friday ... and this weekend will determine where he sits towards finals," Ratten said on Wednesday.

"He was going really well but probably stalled a little bit.

"We just lift the load every time he goes out trying to get him to the next stage ready to play, and sometimes it (the hip) actually pulls up a lot better than other times.

"It's probably coming to a point that we need to keep pushing on or we need to pull the plug."

Waite had been slated for a playing return at some level this weekend - including a possible hitout in the Blues' last home-and-away match of the year against St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday night.

Ratten suggested that if Waite does get the nod to restart his stalled season, he could be used as a substitute in the opening final the following week against Essendon.

"It would be nice to maybe have Jarrad Waite sitting there as the sub and maybe use him in limited game time," Ratten said.

But Ratten said there was better news for defender Michael Jamison.

He came through a reserves hitout last weekend with improved fitness and will play against St Kilda.

Playing part of the reserves match on former Blues star Brendan Fevola, who kicked 10 goals, Jamison has done enough in Ratten's eyes to ensure his place.

He is likely to stand St Kilda forward Nick Riewoldt, who returned to his best form last weekend, in a contest set to have a heavy say in the match's result.

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