CARLTON expects Adam Saad to take on Gold Coast despite the star defender being restricted at AFL training due to knee soreness.
Saad, who had his right knee strapped, trained away from the main group at Princes Park on Thursday.
The ace recruit was limited to light running and drills and will undergo a test before Saturday night’s clash with the Suns at Metricon Stadium.
The Blues will fly to Queensland on Friday and the club anticipates the 26-year- old will be part of the travelling group.
Carlton can ill-afford to be without Saad, a former Gold Coast player, for their match against the Suns with both teams carrying 1-2 records.
Gold Coast have been decimated by injuries to their ruck department, with co-captain Jarrod Witts suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Under-sized swingman Chris Burgess took over in the final quarter against Adelaide last week and is likely to get the role again.
“I think if you ask (Collingwood coach) Nathan Buckley around hit-outs and ruck work, it’s how you use it,” Carlton coach David Teague said.
“I thought when Burgess went in there, he jumped well for them.”
The Blues put their opening two defeats behind them to smash Fremantle by 45 points last Sunday to kick-start their season.
Star midfielder Patrick Cripps made a welcome return to form by finishing with 34 touches, 11 clearances and kicking two goals.
Blues chief executive Cain Liddle flagged a contract extension for Cripps was imminent, which would provide a massive boost for the club.
“I think it would be great for our fans and supporters,” Teague said.
“From an internal point of view, I don’t think it would change too much.
“He’s been an outstanding leader, the way he’s helping his mates get better.”
(C) AAP 2021