CARLTON has been dealt a body blow with former skipper Chris Judd and fellow midfielders Ed Curnow and Tom Bell to miss extended periods after being injured in the win against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.
The Blues confirmed on Monday that Judd will miss five weeks with a hamstring injury, while Curnow will miss six weeks after fracturing his fibula.
Bell will require surgery on a fractured finger and will be out for three to four weeks.
Earlier Judd insisted his latest injury setback wouldn't affect his long-term future in football.
In his first game for the year following Achilles surgery in February, Judd came on as a substitute during the third quarter, only to pull up lame after just six minutes.
The dual Brownlow medalist was in the middle of executing a kick while running at full speed when he was pushed in the back.
The 30-year-old immediately clutched at his right hamstring but told Fox Sports the injury was just "bad luck".
"I've done a couple (of hamstrings) before and they're never pleasant but it doesn't feel like the worst one I've done," Judd said at Visy Park on Monday morning.
"I was really well conditioned. I hadn't done a lot of skills training with the team but had done a heap of running and a heap of leg strength work so there was no issues with conditioning.
"Some times in footy you get put in positions the human body can't tolerate and that's just bad luck."
Carlton coach Mick Malthouse vehemently denied in his post-match press conference that Judd was not 100 per cent ready for a return to competitive football.
The veteran midfielder reiterated that on Monday, saying he was confident he was fit to play.
"It certainly wasn't a lack of conditioning. I wouldn't have been out there if I wasn't ready to go," Judd said.
"I just got pushed by accident into a position that hamstrings can't tolerate, so it wouldn't have mattered if I trained for 50 weeks or six weeks, it wouldn't have changed the outcome.
"You look at the GPS data, that speed that I was pushed at was twice as quick as anyone else moved for the night.
"So it's pretty simple mathematics, your body can't tolerate that and there was a bit of a pop but it's not the end of the world, I'll be back."
Blues general manager of football operations Andrew McKay also denied the veteran midfielder was not fit to play, telling SEN radio the injury was "a freak accident".
"He'll get a scan today and we'll assess it from there," McKay said on Monday morning.
"It was certainly a really solid win, but marred slightly by Juddy going down with a hammy."
"He was ready to play. Given that he hadn't had any game time this year, we thought the sub would be perfect for him.
"It was one of those freak things where you go to kick the ball and he overextends that hamstring."
MeanwhileCarlton's worst fears were realised after Curnow's lower leg was slammed intothe goal post during a tackle in the final term.
X-rayson Monday confirmed the 24-year-old midfielder had sustained a fracture, but he will notrequire surgery.