CARLTON'S mounting injury crisis has deepened with experienced midfielder George Hewett in doubt to play again this season.
The Blues, who were firing at 8-2, have slipped to 12-7 and are no certainties to break their nine-year finals drought with a challenging end to the home-and-away season.
After its upset loss to Adelaide last Saturday night, Carlton was rocked by injuries to midfielder Matt Kennedy (jaw), defender Nic Newman (knee) and forward Corey Durdin (shoulder).
INJURY CHAOS Carlton cop triple injury blow
Hewett, who has been outstanding for Carlton after his off-season move from Sydney, has missed the Blues' last two matches.
Carlton coach Michael Voss on Friday revealed the 26-year-old's back injury had not settled and the club was unsure about his return date.
"We're hoping that's not the case (Hewett's season being over) but we've got to wait to see whether the interventions we've put in place have worked," Voss told reporters.
Carlton had only regained key players such as ruckman Marc Pittonet and defender Mitch McGovern from long-term injuries before the latest wave of setbacks.
The Blues will head to Brisbane for Sunday's clash with the Lions, who are coming off a heartbreaking second-half fade-out at the MCG against Richmond last Sunday.
It will be Voss' first trip to the Gabba as Carlton coach to face the Lions, the club he captained to three premierships and coached for five seasons.
Dashing defender Adam Saad will line up for his 150th career game on the weekend, after playing 61 for Essendon and 48 for Gold Coast.