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Menegola, Silvagni among cast set for earlier than expected returns

Club doctors have to send a medical certificate to the AFL the day after the game outlining the injury the subbed-out player had suffered. The AFL chief medical officer then liaises with clubs over the player’s injury, recovery and assesses any scans.

The AFL told clubs prior to round one that doctors would not be tied to an initial determination that an injury could carry on for 12 days if scans revealed no structural damage and the player improved quicker than expected.

Meanwhile, Carlton was also buoyed by news Jack Martin is set to return to the line up for Thursday night’s clash against Collingwood at the MCG.

Jack Martin.

Jack Martin.Credit:Carlton Media

Martin had a calf issue which limited his training in the lead up to the Tigers’ clash and the Blues opted to rest the dynamic forward.

The former Gold Coast Sun trained fully on Monday and Blues high performance director Andrew Russell said he looked “great”.

Martin will add greater potency up forward and through the midfield with his class and pressure against the Magpies, who were also winless in round one and are desperately trying to find a way to kick more goals.

Russell said that Silvagni may only miss a match and be available for the round three clash against Fremantle.

“He was pretty sore at the time, he definitely couldn’t continue the game. He settled down better than we thought he would at the time, which is great,” he said. “But we think that he’ll probably miss this week.”

Silvagni’s 2020 campaign was marred by knee and rib injuries, which restricted him to three matches, so it was some relief that the prognosis for his shoulder was far better than expected.

Jack Silvagni’s shoulder complaint isn’t as bad as the Blues initially feared.

Jack Silvagni’s shoulder complaint isn’t as bad as the Blues initially feared. Credit:Getty Images

Mitch McGovern has recovered from a hamstring strain but it was back stiffness which prevented his selection last week. He also trained well on Monday and impressed the medical staff with his sprinting but will be given another week off.

“He will be in the mix next week,” Russell said.

Defender Caleb Marchbank, who hasn’t played a senior match since round 16, 2019, because of a series of injuries, has almost returned to full fitness and will play next week in the VFL or AFL.

Zac Williams was banned for this bump on Hunter Clark.Credit:Fox Footy

Eddie Betts (calf) is also pushing for selection, having been declared fit for round one despite failing to take part in either of Carlton’s two practice matches against Essendon or St Kilda. The Blues have opted to take a patient approach with the 34-year-old’s start to the year.

Boom recruit Zac Williams will play his first game for the Blues, having served a one-match ban for a high bump on St Kilda’s Hunter Clark in a AAMI Community Series match at Marvel Stadium.

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