CARLTON coach Mick Malthouse has denied Chris Judd returned under an injury cloud despite lasting just six minutes in Sunday's win over the Western Bulldogs before injuring his hamstring.
Judd started as the Blues' substitute in what was his first game for the year after February Achilles surgery.
He came on for Patrick Cripps at the 22-minute mark of the third quarter as Koby Stevens kicked a goal for the Dogs.
He collected three possessions in less than 10 seconds but pulled up sharply when he was pushed after he disposed of the third around six minutes after he came on.
Malthouse said Judd would not have played if there had been concerns regarding his hamstrings, given his history with soft tissue injuries.
"He's had hamstring problems before and quaddies. When you know they have, that's the last thing you would ever dream of doing," Malthouse said after the Blues' 28-point win.
"For him to go through what he has gone through as a footballer for a start and then have the injury with his Achilles and get over it, work as hard as he did … as he said to me, it wasn't a weakness or anything.
"It was just simply the occasion when he got it, gave it, received and he got pushed [in the back], it was just an over [stretch] and probably most players would have got it or certainly players who have that sort of pace.
"Do you think I would play someone with a doubtful hamstring after all that?"
Judd hobbled around the rooms following the game after spending the last quarter receiving treatment off the field.
The Blues were unsure of the severity of the strain but leading sports medico Peter Larkins told Fox Footy it could be lengthy.
"Four matches, I'm saying at this stage, would be the minimum," Larkins said.
Malthouse said he felt for Judd after all he had been through this year but was philosophical about the prospect of the team being without him again.
"Injuries are injuries. It's a shame how it happened but that's the way it is. What are we going to do about it?" Malthouse said.
"The one thing we won't do is say we can't win with him, without him … we all know how great a player he's been and he's been missing all year, really."
Ed Curnow will have scans on Monday to assess a lower leg injury he sustained in the final quarter.
He was on crutches in the rooms after the game.