Blues say Kreuzer should play in AFL final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues say Kreuzer should play in AFL final

By Roger Vaughan 05/09/2011 07:42:28 PM Comments (0)

Carlton are giving away little about Matthew Kreuzer's mysterious injury but are confident he will play in Sunday's AFL elimination final against Essendon.

The ruck-forward was subbed off before halftime of Saturday's loss to St Kilda because of numbness in his left foot.

Kreuzer spent the night in hospital and The Age reported on Monday that he had a cyst on an artery that supplied blood to the foot.

It is understood Kreuzer had an unspecified medical procedure on Sunday to fix the problem.

On Monday, the Blues reported: "the (medical) tests returned positive results and Kreuzer will train with the team this week in preparation for Sunday's elimination final."

Kreuzer is Carlton's most important tall player and his availability would be a significant boost to their chances against Essendon.

Carlton were hampered in the loss to St Kilda because key forward Setanta O'hAilpin had to go into the ruck once Kreuzer was injured.

O'hAilpin still impressed with four goals.

"Obviously, he'd (leave) a pretty big hole to fill," team-mate Bryce Gibbs said of Kreuzer.

"With all the luck he's had over the last 12 months, it's good for him to get some positive news like that."

Kreuzer returned earlier this season from a knee reconstruction.

While the Blues should also regain tall defenders Michael Jamison and Bret Thornton, key forward Jarrad Waite is yet to prove his fitness as he recovers from hip surgery.

Midfielder Andrew Carrazzo (neck) is another likely recall.

The Carlton-Essendon rivalry adds another dimension to what is already a massive final for the Blues.

Their past two seasons have ended with narrow elimination finals losses, plus this is the first home final for the Blues in a decade.

"We're ready to take the next step and having those couple of losses, it may not be a bad thing," Gibbs said.

Coach Brett Ratten is coming out of contract and needs a finals win to secure his future at the club.

A major focus for Carlton on Sunday will be making the most of their scoring chances.

They looked ready to put St Kilda away in the first half last Saturday night but left the door open with their inaccuracy.

Not nailing the big goals was also a feature of their tight elimination final losses to Brisbane and Sydney.

"Taking those opportunities, making those big moments - we've got to take them," Gibbs said.

"It definitely sits in the back of your mind - a couple of years ago in Brisbane, we had an opportunity and again, last year in Sydney, we had our chances.

"We've learnt from those mistakes and, hopefully, this year we can go one better."

Gibbs said Carlton would take heart from their 74-point belting of Essendon in round 18.

"It gives us a bit of confidence - you look at our record over the last couple of years, they've probably had the better of us," he said.

"To know we've evened that ledger up a bit this year ... we'll take some confidence out of that for sure."

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