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Bolton: Injuries create opportunities

Post-match | Brendon Bolton Brendon Bolton spoke to the media after Carlton's loss to the Western Bulldogs in Round 17.

Carlton’s recent spate of injuries is a great opportunity for the club to test its list depth, according to coach Brendon Bolton.

The Blues entered Sunday's game against the Western Bulldogs without Patrick Cripps (fractured fibula), Ed Curnow (bruised larynx), Caleb Marchbank (shoulder), Dale Thomas (soleus), Sam Rowe (knee), Andrew Phillips (foot), Simon White (knee) and Tom Williamson (back).

Towards the end of their 20-point loss to the Bulldogs, Dylan Buckley (hamstring), Ciaran Byrne (groin) and Alex Silvagni (knee) were sitting on the interchange bench in their tracksuit tops, all in doubt for next Sunday's clash against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.

Bolton was unsure after Sunday's game whether Thomas, who was a late withdrawal, would return for the Lions clash, saying he had a soleus strain, while Buckley, Silvagni and Byrne will undergo scans early next week to assess the extent of their injuries.

Bolton was hopeful Marchbank would return against the Lions, but Cripps, Rowe and Phillips have been ruled out for the rest of the season, while Ed Curnow and White are expected to be sidelined for another two weeks.

The Blues coach, however, found one positive to his club's growing injury list, saying it would give Carlton valuable insight into its playing list over 2017's remaining six rounds.

Alex Silvagni will be assessed early in the week after copping a knock to the knee. (Photo: AFL Photos)

"Injuries are at double figures and that's a great opportunity for our club to build our depth. It's also a great opportunity to view our depth, look at more players and be able to assess their games along the way," Bolton said.

Asked how Carlton had coped with Cripps' absence against the Bulldogs, Bolton noted his midfield had been beaten at centre clearances (8-12) but almost broke even at overall clearances (32-33).

Again, however, his main focus was on the opportunity Cripps' injury had created for other Blues.

"(It) gave an opportunity for more (players) to rotate through there. That's what I'm saying, it just gives more exposure to our players," Bolton said.

"Samo Petrevski-Seton gets a little bit more of a go in there. From time to time, we'll put Charlie (Curnow) in there, Matty Wright, Nick Graham, the load just has to get shared and that's part of it.

"Injuries come with the game and they give opportunity to others, that's the way we look at it. (We get to) find out more about our list."