Injured Blues Adam Saad and Mitch McGovern after Carlton's loss to Adelaide in round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

CARLTON will begin a daunting five-match stretch without a trio of injured stars with Adam Cerra, Mitch McGovern and Adam Saad all expected to spend time on the sidelines as they battle hamstring injuries.

McGovern and Saad were both withdrawn midway through Saturday's disappointing defeat to Adelaide, while Cerra was pulled from the game at the eleventh hour after he injured his hamstring at training earlier in the week.

The Blues are still determining the extent of all three of their respective hamstring problems, though have already conceded that the trio will miss this Saturday's fixture against the unbeaten Giants.

Saturday's game against the table-topping Greater Western Sydney kickstarts a difficult stretch that also includes fixtures against Geelong, Collingwood, Melbourne and Sydney.


Marc Pittonet was included for Cerra on Saturday and could be trusted again, while Caleb Marchbank appears a likely inclusion to replace McGovern after missing the last fortnight with concussion and then back tightness.

Fellow defender Lewis Young was also impressive in the VFL on Sunday, finishing with 19 touches and 10 marks having been dropped from the senior side last month to accommodate the return of Jacob Weitering.

Alex Cincotta was managed from the side's VFL defeat to Collingwood on Sunday, but could be an option to replace Saad, while Lachie Cowan is another candidate after claiming 24 disposals and nine marks in the reserves.

Uncapped wingman Jaxon Binns is another option to come into Carlton's depleted team, having again impressed at VFL level after winning 25 disposals and kicking a goal in Sunday's one-point loss to the Pies.

Cerra, McGovern and Saad add to an extensive Carlton injury list that currently features David Cuningham (calf), Sam Docherty (knee), Lachie Fogarty (wrist), Jack Martin (hamstring), Jesse Motlop (hamstring) and Jack Silvagni (knee).

However, midfield superstar Sam Walsh made a successful return from an ongoing back injury on Saturday in a best-on-ground performance for the Blues that included 34 disposals, eight clearances and 13 tackles.