CARLTON ruckman Matthew Kreuzer remains in doubt for the side's season-opening fixture against Richmond, with Andrew Phillips firming as a likely starter for the clash.

However, there is good news on the injury front for the Blues, with midfielder Matthew Kennedy and forward recruit Alex Fasolo set to be available for round one.

Kreuzer has been confined to the rehab group since late January after undergoing minor knee surgery, missing both of the side's JLT Community Series games over the past fortnight.

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The Blues had initially hoped that the 29-year-old would return in time to feature in at least one pre-season fixture, though have taken a cautious approach with his recovery.

Phillips has impressed in his absence, leading to Carlton coach Brendon Bolton revealing last week that there was now genuine competition for the No.1 ruck spot at Ikon Park.

Speaking on Wednesday, Carlton's high performance manager Andrew Russell said the club was still monitoring Kreuzer's fitness, but gave no guarantees about his availability.

"His knee is settling down well," Russell told the club's website.

"We're building his loads up and he's getting really close to playing. We need to do a certain amount of loads through that knee to know that he can handle game play.

"He wasn't quite right last week, but we expect him to be really close next week."

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Kennedy is set to be available, despite copping a knock to his shoulder in a VFL practice match last week, while Fasolo is also fit to play after returning from a broken arm.

The former Collingwood forward played a full practice match with the Northern Blues on Sunday, collecting 15 disposals and kicking a goal in the outing.

"We pushed him pretty hard out there," Russell said.

"He'd had a fantastic conditioning block and we couldn't have been more pleased with the way he attacked his training after that incident he had.

"He will recover well from the game and will be in the round one selection mix."

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A host of Carlton players have already been ruled out of round one, including Caleb Marchbank (back), Darcy Lang (foot), Harrison Macreadie (back) and Tom Williamson (back).

Sam Docherty and Jarrod Pickett will also miss with long-term knee injuries.