CARLTON co-captain Patrick Cripps will see a specialist to review his left shoulder and determine whether surgery will be required.
The co-captain didn’t return after the third term of Saturday night's clash with Brisbane, with the decision made to withdraw him from the final quarter of the Blues' season.
Director of High Performance outlined the approach to Cripps’ shoulder injury, which had been effectively managed through the Blues’ 2020 campaign.
“Patrick had an instability episode with his shoulder [on Saturday night] and what that basically means is that the shoulder slips out of the joint and goes back into the joint again,” Russell said.
“It is quite common: it happens to a lot of players and players can play a whole season having these instability episodes.
“He has had three minor instability episodes throughout the course of the season, every time he has recovered 100 per cent. His strength has been 100 per cent going into the next game.”
Seeking specialist opinion ahead of shoulder surgery, Russell assured supporters that the star skipper is expected to have a full pre-season if reconstruction is required.
“He will see a surgeon this week in Queensland and we think he is a strong chance of needing shoulder surgery,” he said.
“If we choose to go down that path he will likely have 4-6 weeks of no running: he’ll get back, he’ll have a really good running preparation and we expect him to have a full pre-season on the track and be available for Round 1.”