Carlton has ruled Chris Judd out of Sunday’s game against Adelaide, revealing the dual Brownlow Medallist is a week behind schedule with his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Judd sustained the injury against the Western Bulldogs in round five, meaning this is his fifth week of recovery, having already missed the first four games of the season battling an Achilles injury.
The Blues originally said the 30-year-old would miss four to five weeks, which put Sunday’s showdown at the MCG in the frame for his anticipated return, however coach Mick Malthouse confirmed on Wednesday that Judd would need at least another week on the sidelines.
Malthouse said he couldn’t be sure whether the six-time All-Australian would be ready to play next week against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba, but insisted there was “no panic” at Visy Park about the fact Judd had basically not played all season.
“Juddy’s probably a week behind what we thought,” Malthouse said.
“When I say that, it’s not doom and gloom. It was such a unique way of doing it, you don’t normally do your hamstring in those circumstances where it stretches at both ends," he said.
“The certainty of a normal hamstring is, if you haven’t had a hamstring before, is you [miss] 21 days or 28 days.
“I would say - and I’m not privy to Hawthorn’s injury room - that [Sam] Mitchell would be in the same category of that extended time ... the age of the player, the opportunity to make sure everything’s right before you bring players back and, in Chris’ case, he’s a 30-year-old who has been around the traps for a long time and knows his body.
“What we don’t want to do is hasten [his return] because we said it was going to be four or five weeks and it’s five weeks [now]. No, he’s not ready, so we go to six weeks.”
When asked about the possibility of Judd returning through the VFL, Malthouse responded: “It hasn’t crossed our mind whether he plays seconds or firsts”.
“It’s just a matter of getting him back first.”
The better news for Carlton supporters is that key forward Jarrad Waite and midfielder Andrew Carrazzo are both ready to resume from back injuries against the Crows, provided they did not suffer any setbacks.
Waite has looked dangerous in the six games he has played this year, producing 16 shots at goal and 33 marks, and the Blues have missed him since he went out of the team after the round six win against West Coast.
Carrazzo, meanwhile, endured a frustrating pre-season dogged with injuries and is yet to hit top gear, having played just three games this year, the last of which being the win against the Bulldogs in round five.