Adam Cerra grabs the ball over Jack Viney during the R9 match between Carlton and Melbourne at the MCG on May 9, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

CARLTON midfielder Adam Cerra has suffered yet another hamstring setback and will be sent for scans after failing to see out the Blues' one-point thriller over Melbourne.

Cerra was subbed out in the third term and is set to spend his fourth stint on the sidelines in less than a year due to hamstring issues.

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He missed two stints last year and was playing just his second game back after more hamstring woes earlier this season.

The injury to the 24-year-old is yet another soft-tissue blow for Carlton, with Jack Martin, Mitch McGovern, Adam Saad and Jesse Motlop among those who have missed games with hamstring injuries.

David Cuningham (calf) and Matt Carroll (groin) have also been sidelined with soft-tissue injuries in 2024.

Carlton coach Michael Voss wasn't sure if Cerra's issue was to the same leg that was affected earlier this year.


"A slight hamstring – a minor hamstring, I should say," Voss said.

"We'll get that scanned and see where that lies."

The Blues had pushed out to a 38-point lead 10 minutes into the third term, but the Demons slowly but surely ground their way back into the contest, cutting the lead to one with 40 seconds left on the clock.

Nonetheless, Voss was pleased with the performance, especially scoring six goals before Melbourne had registered a solitary point.

"Certainly, the start was really impressive. That's how we wanted to make sure we got it, very early, realising that obviously Melbourne was off the back of a five-day break, so to get the jump, to be able to score like that early was important," Voss said.


"Then it was a genuine armwrestle through the middle part of the ground. The end was a bit different, but it won't take away from the positives of the game for us. 

"We've been fighting for a good month, I think we've been in some good form, we've played against some really good sides (GWS, Geelong and Collingwood), and felt like we haven't been able to get the wins on the board. So perhaps that's what it felt like in the last quarter, and we needed to get the four points. We'll walk away with that against a really good side."

George Hewett was coming off a 30-disposal game against Collingwood but started as substitute on a wet night in conditions that usually suit his game well.

"We're sharing the load. It's a long season, Matty Kennedy played there last week, and George took his turn. The small forwards have done the same job. That's the approach we'll keep taking," Voss said.

"We've got a squad mentality we want to go after across this whole season. We realise it's a long year and we've been fortunate enough to be able to get some more bodies back, and that will hopefully put more pressure on players in their positions, because that drives the next level."

After falling agonisingly short – Christian Petracca looked set to boot the winner before a lunging tackle from Nic Newman – Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin was left counting the cost of a slow start.

"The main takeaway is you hate losing, you're going to wake up feeling pretty crook about that one," Goodwin said.


"In terms of how we started – any time you want to give a team six goals' head start, thought our contest at both ends of the ground was really poor and our defence was poor. We gave a really good side a six-goal start, and they played really well early, they were hot.

"Our responsibility as a footy club is to rock up and compete in a way that keeps you in a game for longer. That's where the game was won and lost, early. There was a lot to like after that, but the damage was done. 

"It's very rare we have 10 inside 50s against us for five goals against, and that's what took place. Up the other end, our entries were a little bit average, and our contest was average."

After starting the game in the middle of the ground, Petracca was moved forward in the second quarter to great effect, kicking a career-high five goals from 21 disposals.

"That was one of the pleasing things about the game. We had to adjust a lot in-game, a lot of players had to play different roles and we were trying to find an avenue to score and get back in the game," Goodwin said.


"Christian was one of those guys, and he was outstanding. Clearly, he had an exceptional night and has enormous impact for us. It was really pleasing for us that we were able to put Christian in a position where it had an impact on the scoreboard for us, and he was one of the reasons for us getting back in the game.

"[Ed] Langdon played a different role at times, especially forward of the ball (instead of on the wing), and [Alex] Neal-Bullen went in [the midfield] and did a really good job. We just had to adapt on the run, and the game demanded we needed to change things up. 

"Carlton obviously started the game really well and had control of the game and were impacting the scoreboard, and we needed to find an avenue to score, and some of those adjustments allowed us to do that. But we sit here, and we're not happy. We've come away with a loss that will hurt."