Blues lose McKay for North clash in AFL

Carlton's Harry McKay won't get to play against his brother after being injured.
Carlton's Harry McKay won't get to play against his brother after being injured.

Carlton will need to come up with fresh avenues to goal in the AFL clash with North Melbourne after Coleman Medal leader Harry McKay was ruled out with a toe injury.

McKay has kicked 52 goals this season and was a match-winner in last week's come-from-behind victory over Collingwood, booting four majors in the final quarter.

But his withdrawal from Saturday's Marvel Stadium contest after failing a fitness test on Friday leaves the Blues' inconsistent attack - ranked 10th in the competition for points scored - facing a new challenge.

Eddie Betts (24) and Matthew Owies (14) are the only other Carlton goal-kickers in double figures this season, with prime midfielders Sam Walsh and Patrick Cripps (nine each) rounding out their top five.

Betts kicked two goals against Collingwood and Owies was left out of the team this week after going goalless from nine disposals, only to be recalled after McKay pulled out.

Carlton are determined to make it four wins from five matches as they launch an unlikely bid to play finals while the external review of the club's football department lingers in the background.

They will have extra motivation against bottom-of-the-ladder North, with club stalwart Ed Curnow to run out for his 200th match.

The Blues have been bolstered by the return of co-captain Cripps after one week out with soreness.

Former skipper Marc Murphy will only be considered for the medi-sub role as he chases four more appearances to reach the 300-game milestone.

North welcome back Jed Anderson for his first match since suffering an ankle injury in round three as well as tough midfielder Ben Cunnington, who missed last week due to family reasons.

But the Kangaroos have lost key defender Robbie Tarrant (adductor).

McKay had been set to face off against twin brother and North Melbourne defender Ben for the first time since the pair were drafted in 2015.

But injury has again conspired to keep the siblings, who are both in career-best form, from doing battle on the field.

Australian Associated Press