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AFL 2017 Round 16 - Carlton v Melbourne

Dale Thomas will attempt to prove his fitness to face the Brisbane Lions this weekend

CARLTON is optimistic Dale Thomas can overcome a calf strain in time to play in Sunday's clash against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.

Thomas was a late withdrawal from the Blues' round 17 game against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG, and Blues coach Brendon Bolton was unsure after his team's 20-point loss whether the former Magpie would be fit to return against the Lions. 

But AFL.com.au understands Thomas' strain to his soleus muscle is only a slight one and he is expected to push his case for a recall on the training track this week.

Ciaran Byrne (adductor), Dylan Buckley (hamstring) and Alex Silvagni (knee) joined the Blues' growing injury list during the loss to the Bulldogs. 

Of the trio, Byrne appears best placed to play this round. The Irishman escaped with a minor adductor strain, he faces a race against time to prove his fitness.

Silvagni is still awaiting the results of scans after suffering a knock to his knee against the Blues.