Now Blues lose skipper for big AFL test

The bad news keeps coming for Carlton, who have now lost captain Marc Murphy for Friday night’s imposing AFL task against Sydney at the SCG.

Murphy is out with a calf muscle injury, joining Chris Judd (knee), Bryce Gibbs (back) and Robbie Warnock (hip) on the sidelines for the match.

There was some good news, with Lachie Henderson, Andrew Carrazzo, Andrew Walker back from injury and Nick Graham returning.

But the loss of Murphy, Judd and Gibbs means Carlton are without their top three onballers.

Murphy was ruled out after Thursday’s training run in Sydney.

The Blues are bereft of confidence and will need a miracle to beat the Swans, who are coming off last Saturday night’s outstanding win over Hawthorn.

The May misery for Carlton culminated in Tuesday’s flashpoint, when coach Mick Malthouse gave a provocative radio interview that morning and was sacked a few hours later.

Assistant John Barker has taken over and he will have a daunting debut as senior coach against Sydney.

Speaking before the team left Melbourne on Thursday morning, Barker said the loss of Judd and Gibbs meant teammates had the chance to step up.

“It just makes the challenge even bigger and that just means that a new group of guys get the opportunity to step up and show that they can give us effort,” he said.

Since Carlton had their only win so far this season on Anzac Day, they have suffered heavy losses to Collingwood, GWS and Geelong and Brisbane also had an upset win against them.

The most glaring aspect of those three thrashings has been a total lack of effort.

By contrast, Sydney are third with a 6-2 record and proved on Saturday night that their grand final loss to the Hawks last September is a distant nightmare.

The Swans promoted Daniel Robinson for his senior debut, while Jake Lloyd has an ankle injury.

Robinson, a midfielder, spent three years on a NSW scholarship before the Swans put him on their rookie list in 2013.

He was elevated to the senior list during the off season.

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