CARLTON has ruled its 2019 first-round pick Sam Philp out for the remainder of the season, giving the club the flexibility to potentially add a third player to its list at next week's NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft.
Philp, who played two senior games for the Blues last year after he was recruited to the club with pick No.20 the season prior, has been battling groin and hip-flexor injuries since the summer break.
His absence for the rest of the year will give Carlton the option of potentially selecting three players at next Wednesday's mid-season draft, with David Cuningham (knee) and Caleb Marchbank (knee) already ruled out for the remainder of the season.
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As reported on AFL.com.au last week, the Blues are eyeing 210cm ruckman Alex Mirkov at next week's draft after placing the former AGSV-level volleyballer on the club's VFL list earlier this season.
Teenage midfielder Zavier Maher, who is also on Carlton's VFL list and trained with the Blues during pre-season in the hope of winning a Supplemental Selection Period spot, is also on the club's radar.
Geelong Falcons midfielder Noah Gribble is another Carlton is understood to be keeping tabs on after missing out on selection at last year's NAB AFL Draft, having ruptured his ACL earlier in the year.
"We've been managing his groins since pre-season," Blues high-performance boss Andrew Russell said of Philp's latest injury setback.
"We felt that he was really getting there and his groins had settled down, but when the loads have gone up and we've introduced game play the groins haven't quite handled that load.
"We've decided to take him out for the season, which is unfortunate for him in the short-term. The positive to that is that we can really settle him down and give him a good rest, strengthen him up and get him ready to have a full pre-season.
"I've worked with a lot of young guys who, at this stage of their careers, have had groin issues. All of them have come back to play long careers and have been very good AFL footballers, so we expect Sam to be in that boat."
Carlton expects to have classy forward Jack Martin available for this week's clash with Sydney, having missed the last two months with a knee injury, while Zac Fisher is expected to return from an ankle problem for next week's game against West Coast.