Carlton spearhead Harry McKay is almost certain to miss the AFL clash with Port Adelaide because of a shoulder injury as he clings to a lead in the Coleman Medal race.
But in better news for the under-fire Blues, gun midfielder Sam Walsh is expected to play this week despite rolling an ankle.
Both McKay and Walsh were hurt during the final quarter of last Saturday’s surprise defeat to lowly Gold Coast, which dashed Carlton’s hopes of a finals appearance.
The result also put further heat on coach David Teague, with the club’s football department under the intense spotlight of an external review.
McKay has kicked 58 goals this season, ahead of fellow Coleman Medal contenders Tom Hawkins and Jack Riewoldt, who have 47 each.
Taylor Walker and Josh Bruce sit equal-second on the leaderboard with 48 majors, but will miss the rest of the season through suspension and injury respectively.
Carlton high performance director Andrew Russell said McKay is “highly unlikely” to play against Port Adelaide.
“Harry had a big hit to that AC joint as we saw when he hit the ground,” Russell said.
“He has pulled up pretty sore.
“We’ve done some scans and he’s highly unlikely to play this weekend at this stage.”
Walsh hurt his ankle late in the Gold Coast game, sparking initial fears he may have suffered a dreaded syndesmosis injury.
“We weren’t too concerned once we saw him, he settled down well,” Russell said.
“Scans were good and we expect him to play this week.”
High-profile Blues recruit Zac Williams will miss at least one more match with a hamstring injury, while Will Setterfield (groin) faces a fitness test this week.