Matthew Kreuzer. Photo: Getty Images
Matthew Kreuzer quickly reached the recognition that he needed surgery for his sore foot - and would spend most of the season on the sidelines - after consulting with club doctors following a training session on Thursday.
Remarkably, Kreuzer had been ready to play at the weekend against Richmond, but was ruled out late by the doctors.
But it was following Thursday's training session, when he pulled up sore once again, that the 2008 No.1 draft pick was persuaded that his interests would be served by having an operation that the Blues said would sideline him for 12 to 14 weeks.
Carlton said the season was not over for the ruckman, who would return by round 16 if he took the full 14 weeks to play again.
Kreuzer, who first hurt his troublesome right foot in the elimination final against Richmond last year, had played in round one against Port Adelaide and felt soreness in the foot, where a screw had been inserted in post-season surgery.
The Blues said the operation would involve removal of the screw - which had been causing pain - and insertion of a plate.
Kreuzer had trained on Monday and again on Thursday.
On the second occasion, he met the club doctor and then a surgeon, and concluded that he would be better to have the operation rather than attempting to train and play under duress.
Kreuzer has typically shown a willingness and ability to play hurt and to carry ailments.
The Blues, who regained the suspended Andrew Walker and added veteran Andrew Carrazzo to the 25-man squad for Sunday's game against Essendon, have two recognised ruckmen left on the list, with former Magpie Cameron Wood able to be called on from the rookie list if the club's primary remaining ruck, Robbie Warnock, is grounded.
Wood was recruited from Collingwood entirely as insurance in the event of injury, with the Blues having traded Shaun Hampson, their forward/ruck stand-in, to the Tigers.
Carlton's football manager, Andrew McKay, said Kreuzer was still feeling ''significant pain'' following training this week.
It had been decided that the surgery was needed for the ruckman to be fully fit to play, McKay said.
''We have been monitoring Matthew's foot this week and although he has managed to participate in training, he is still experiencing significant pain,'' he said.
''His surgeon and our club doctor have determined it is in both Kreuzer's and the club's interests for him to have another procedure, to ensure he is fully fit to play a role in the later part of the season.
''Kreuzer is an integral part of our team and will be missed on the field, but we're confident this is the best course of action going forward.''
Kreuzer said he knew that surgery was the best remedy for his sore foot.
''After chatting to the club doctor I know that this is the best way to get my foot right, so hopefully I can come back fitter and stronger and play a big role for the team at the business end of the season,'' Kreuzer said.