CARLTON emerged from a stirring 52-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium with positive early injury news for two midfield stars.
While it initially appeared that victory may have been soured by injuries to key duo Patrick Cripps and Marc Murphy, Senior Coach David Teague said the early signs were promising for the two leaders.
A jarring tackle on Bulldog Rhylee West forced Cripps from the ground toward the completion of the opening term.
The co-captain reappeared on the other side of the break and battled manfully to play out the match, with heavy strapping to his left shoulder.
It was a quiet evening for the laboured Cripps by his usual standards, but Teague dismissed concerns of more significant damage.
“I asked if he was right to go back on, they said 'yes', I said 'that's good'. It was a pretty simple conversation.”
“He seemed pretty happy in the rooms and didn’t seem to be complaining about the shoulder after the game.”
An innocuous incident late in the game saw Murphy restricted to the bench by the final siren.
However, Teague allayed fears that this was linked to the veteran’s former syndesmosis injury which curtailed his 2016 season.
“I think it’s toward his hip area,” he said.
“When it happened, he thought he'd hurt something. But by the time we finished the game, he said it felt good. I think he'll be alright.”
The overall performance highlighted the spread across the board and four-quarter effort, which was most pleasing for Teague.
“We didn’t rely on one or two players. I thought across the field we had a lot of guys that won or broke even in their position, which is how we want to play.”