A KNEE injury that is set to sideline Carlton defender Liam Jones for the remainder of the season could open the door for the club's former first-round pick Brodie Kemp to make his AFL debut this weekend.
Meanwhile, former club captain Marc Murphy is a certain inclusion to face Port Adelaide this weekend for his 300th game, with the veteran midfielder set to become just the sixth Blues player to reach the illustrious landmark.
Jones sustained the injury during Saturday's loss to Gold Coast, with the club now considering whether it sends the Therabody AFL All-Australian hopeful in for surgery this week to repair the damage.
It compounded a costly loss to the Suns, which ruled the Blues out of finals contention, with Coleman Medal leader Harry McKay also injuring his shoulder and gun midfielder Sam Walsh hurting his ankle late in the game.
But with September football out of the equation and with Jones now set to be sidelined for the final fortnight of the campaign, it could create an opportunity for Kemp to make his long-awaited debut in the backline.
Kemp is set to vie for a position in the defence with the experienced Levi Casboult, who himself is returning from a knee injury and was named among the four emergencies for last week's loss to Gold Coast. Luke Parks is also under consideration.
A 193cm defender, Kemp spent the first 18 months of his Carlton career sidelined by an ACL injury and a syndesmosis issue. He had previously been recruited to the club with pick No.17 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.
But he finally returned to the field for his first competitive match in more than two years with the VFL side in May, averaging 15.2 disposals and 5.6 marks per game in five reserves matches as an intercept defender across half-back.
Mitch McGovern is also set to return this week, softening the blow of McKay's shoulder injury, with the former Adelaide forward kicking six goals in a VFL scratch match last Saturday as he continued his recovery from a long-term hamstring issue.
Scans on Walsh's rolled ankle, which occurred in the dying stages of the game, came back negative and the former No.1 pick is set to feature in this weekend's dead rubber against Port Adelaide.