CARLTON is confident in the ability of its deputies to replace ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, with the club waiting on scan results for the veteran big man after his wretched run with injury continued in Thursday night's season-opener against Richmond.
Kreuzer injured his foot when he landed awkwardly following a ruck contest midway through the first quarter, failing to return to the field after limping from the ground moments later.
The injury compounded a 24-point loss for the Blues, with Kreuzer later spotted on crutches having been immediately taken to the rooms by club medical staff following the incident.
Key forward Levi Casboult competed admirably in the ruck throughout the remainder of the game, with coach David Teague throwing his support behind Kreuzer's youthful back-up options Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning should they be called upon next week.
"It's a foot injury, that's all I've heard," Teague said after the match.
"Absolutely (you feel for him). You have pre-seasons and you want to play football. These are football players and they want to play.
"Kreuz has had a tough run. He had a pretty good pre-season, but his body didn't get through tonight and we'll move on.
"We're pretty lucky at the moment, we've got Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning who were both close. We were umm-ing and ahh-ing who we went for in the ruck this week.
"In the past, we've probably been hands-down in playing Kreuz. But at the moment, we've got some real competition for that spot. I've got no doubt those two boys will be going at it this week if Kreuz is no good."
Carlton whittled a 50-point deficit down to just three kicks on either side of three-quarter time on Thursday night, with recruit Jack Martin sparking the comeback with four goals in the third term alone.
"I thought he was outstanding," Teague said.
"Even early when things weren't going well, he competed. He's tough and he has a real crack.
"It's just what we need. We need more of him. I thought Richmond probably showed us that they were a little bit stronger in the contest, their tackling was far superior to ours, but I thought Jack was one player who could hold his head up in that area."