AFL: Hammy for a week? Blues coach provides update on Cripps

The most talked about hamstring injury in football is unlikely to keep Carlton captain Patrick Cripps out beyond this weekend

Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps is back and “expected” to miss just one game as he recovers from a hamstring setback, coach Michael Voss has said.

The Blues waited until the end of the week to kick Cripps out of Sunday’s clash with Port Adelaide at the MCG after being substituted in the first quarter of last week’s surprise loss to Gold Coast.

Asked about the likelihood of Cripps only missing a week – as has been the tone of disbelief in the AFL world in recent days – Voss was adamant the club’s medical team were confident in his prognosis.

“The assessment we had, which was quite thorough, is that he should be right to leave next week,” Voss said.

“At first we were hoping it would be so minor that we could get him up for this week.

“He stretched too far for a ball and tightened up a bit in that area, but there certainly wasn’t any major damage, which gives him a chance for next week.”

They expect to know more about Cripps’ availability by the end of this weekend, but Voss said Cripps would have to prove he can practice before raising his hand for Saturday’s game against Fremantle to Perth.

Carlton will reunite with Marc Pittonet (full-back) and have turned to once-prized draft Paddy Dow as Cripps’ midfield replacement following his encouraging VFL form.

“He was impressive. The disadvantage for Paddy is that the players who have been in his shoes have done pretty well and they have had a lot of work to do,” Voss said.

“I have weekly chats with him to find out where he is and what he’s doing and it’s the same with the other guys.

“What they’ve all taken a stand on is, ‘I’m going to get ready and when you need me, I’m ready to go.’ I really like their collective attitude to that.

Voss remains close to Port Adelaide manager Ken Hinkley after working under him for seven years, but they have avoided each other this week ‘as competitors’.

“I have great relationships with a lot of people in Port. I have a lot of friends there,” he said.

“But we’re also in the show business and we have work to do.

“He has a job this week to make his team play the way he wants. I have a job for this team to make sure we can get and fix some things from last week and really play our best.

Voss didn’t delve too deeply into his Power knowledge base in the introduction, having spent most of his time focusing on what went wrong in the Suns game after the Blues won their first three matches this year.

“We’ve moved away from some of the things that have worked for us, but I think that’s just, in some ways, a reinforcement of what we’ve done well so far,” he said.

“What’s very easy to do is focus on a week and what happened in that week and that’s where you put all of your attention.

“But what really impressed me, with this group, is that we were actually able to implement our style of play consistently over a short period of time.

“It was lacking a bit, mainly around our method of competition and in our pressure we were able to put the ball in which put other parts of our game to the test and we have to make sure we bring it this week.”

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