Carlton forward Harry McKay is no guarantee of playing Round 1 after suffering joint soreness in his foot, with the reigning Coleman Medal winner among a bevy of Blues players currently nursing injuries.
Carlton assistant coach Ashley Hansen spoke to media on Tuesday and was quite bullish about McKay's chances for the Blues' season opener despite Monday's injury report.
"We're confident (he'll play Round 1)," Hansen stated.
"If it was a home and away game he could have played but he's on an individualised program and we are really confident. He hasn't missed any sessions all summer."
Hansen also confirmed that the injury was on McKay's left foot, which is his preferred kicking foot.
McKay's setback adds to a growing list of players currently residing in the Ikon Park's casualty ward, with star midfielder Sam Walsh set to miss the opening month of the season.
The 2021 best and fairest winner has entered the recovery phase of his recuperation from an ankle injury, for which he underwent surgery last week.
Forward Josh Honey is facing a similar timeline on the sidelines after requiring surgery on the illotibial band (ITB) around his knee, with the Blues youngster currently undergoing a running program.
Defender Sam Docherty (conditioning) and tall Tom De Koning (medical) will also be a chance to face the Demons.
Backline duo Caleb Marckbank (knee) and Liam Stocker (ankle) won't feature for the Blues until the home and away season, with the former scheduled to return to playing between Rounds 5-8.
David Cuningham is tipped to make his return from a season-ending knee injury sustained last year in the second half of this season.
Rookie tall Dominic Akuei will be available for the start of the season after suffering groin soreness and will be monitored further.
Carlton will open their 2022 account against Richmond at the MCG on Thursday, March 17.