No Kreuzer, Waite for Blues' AFL final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No Kreuzer, Waite for Blues' AFL final

Sam Lienert 08/09/2011 07:35:39 PM Comments (0)

Carlton's battle for their first AFL finals win in a decade and perhaps coach Brett Ratten's career will be fought without Matthew Kreuzer and Jarrad Waite.

While Ratten expressed hope earlier this week that both would overcome injuries and play in Sunday's cut-throat final against Essendon, the Blues will not risk either.

Key forward Waite has been sidelined for two months with a hip injury, while ruckman-forward Kreuzer was subbed off with a foot injury against St Kilda last weekend.

It leaves the Blues struggling for marking targets in attack, with Setanta O'hAilpin named at full-forward and Bret Thornton at centre half-forward.

In better news for what shapes as the Blues' biggest game since 2001, defender Michael Jamison (soreness) and Andrew Carrazzo (neck) were both named to return.

Essendon, coming off the bye, were boosted by the inclusions of veteran defender Dustin Fletcher and tough midfielder Heath Hocking, a likely opponent for Carlton skipper Chris Judd.

Collingwood put their faith in experience rather than match fitness, adding captain Nick Maxwell and creative defenders Heath Shaw and Leon Davis for Saturday's qualifying final against West Coast.

Maxwell has missed three games with a thumb fracture and Shaw eight through suspension, while hamstring tightness sidelined Davis last weekend.

The selection victims were youngsters Alex Fasolo and Ben Sinclair and ruckman Cameron Wood, leaving small forward Andrew Krakouer as the Magpies' only first-time finalist.

Wood's omission was intriguing, leaving Darren Jolly with minimal support to battle star Eagles ruck duo Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui.

The Eagles welcomed back midfield gun Daniel Kerr and tall defender Will Schofield from injury.

Geelong dropped their oldest player, defender Darren Milburn, and could not find room for another veteran, key forward Cameron Mooney, while a groin complaint kept Joel Corey out of the side to play Hawthorn in Friday night's qualifying final.

Shannon Byrnes (calf) was a forced omission, with Tom Lonergan back from injury for a potential duel with Lance Franklin, along with small forward Mathew Stokes.

As expected, the Hawks recalled the eight key players they rested against Gold Coast last weekend, including captain Luke Hodge and fellow stars Franklin and Cyril Rioli.

They lost veteran Cameron Bruce (soreness) and decided not to risk key defender Ben Stratton, who returned from a long absence with a knee injury against the Suns.

Sydney will again be without key defender Heath Grundy, who has contracted glandular fever, for Saturday night's elimination final against St Kilda.

But Lewis Roberts-Thomson returns to add defensive cover and key forward Sam Reid is also back from injury.

The Saints dropped Michael Gardiner, who played his first AFL game of the year after a long injury battle last weekend, leaving Ben McEvoy to counter form Swans ruckman Shane Mumford.

David Armitage returned from suspension.

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