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Achilles injury could sideline big Blue

JLT: Injured Blue dejected in rooms Carlton's Daniel Gorringe lets his frustrations show after suffering an injury
Daniel Gorringe was injured in the third quarter of Saturday's loss
Let's hope and cross our fingers it's not too bad
Brendon Bolton on Daniel Gorringe

CARLTON ruckman Daniel Gorringe suffered an Achilles injury in Carlton's 54-point pre-season loss to Melbourne on Saturday, placing further strain on the Blues' dwindling ruck stocks.

Gorringe, who was rested in the first half of the JLT Community Series clash at Casey Fields, suffered the injury in the third quarter and will be assessed in the coming days.  

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The Blues are already without big man Andrew Phillips, who is sidelined indefinitely and on the Blues' long-term injury list as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left foot.

Coach Brendon Bolton was hopeful Gorringe, who was shown on broadcast footage punching a table in frustration and holding his head in his hands, would not be facing a stint on the sidelines.

"I hope he's OK … I think he stirred up his Achilles," Bolton said.  

"At some stage during the week we'll get a result on that, let's hope and cross our fingers it's not too bad."

On Phillips, Bolton said: "I'm not sure exactly how long it will be, but it's looking like the early rounds of the season. We've just got to see how it progresses."

Bolton was not concerned with the extent of the Blues' loss on Saturday, preferring to use the club's first pre-season match to experiment with tactics and player positions.

The Blues also used eight of their players for roughly a half each, meaning they had fewer players rotating through the bench than the Demons.

Bolton was particularly impressed with backline recruit Caleb Marchbank, who crossed from Greater Western Sydney and stamped himself immediately as a best-22 defender.

"I thought he really went back with the flight on a few occasions and tried to dash out of there … he'll be a good long-term player for us," the coach said.

Bolton was also pleased to see captain Marc Murphy make a drama-free return to football after a serious ankle injury ruined his 2016 campaign.

The coach said star midfielder Patrick Cripps was a strong chance to feature in one of the club's two remaining pre-season games as he recovers from a lower back injury.

"We're just going to make a really good, informed decision on that one and hopefully we can see him before round one," Bolton said.

"We're quite optimistic about that."

The Blues are set to give opportunities to young players in next Saturday's clash against St Kilda at Ikon Park before fielding a strong line-up against Fremantle on March 10.