Judd, 29, is making his only appearance of the summer series after finally throwing off a hamstring strain the decorated champion suffered almost two months back.
The dual Brownlow medallist and dangerous line-breaker is expected to be subbed out of the grand final showdown with Brisbane at some stage.
It’s a delicate balancing act for Malthouse and his fitness advisors to optimise Judd’s crucial game-time as well as reduce any possible after effects in his recovery ahead of the Blues vital traditional AFL premiership season opening blockbuster against Richmond.
It is understood that consideration had been on the cards for Blues football management to send Judd back into match action again next week after his NAB Cup grand final resumption for crucial last-minute match conditioning ahead of the Tigers clash.
A run in any Blues reserves action was apparently contemplated, but complications in fixtures at the second-tier level as well as Carlton’s season launch against the Tigers has thwarted any match outing for Judd next week.
It seems the important recovery time from any footy a week after his NAB grand final shootout and the Tigers clash is too short.
The Blues host the Tigers in a stand-alone Thursday night confrontation as a feature of the league’s extended Round 1 to kick off Easter weekend.
It appears that had the Blues and Tigers clash even been a couple of days later to allow the gun play-maker and extra couple of days to recover from the NAB action, Judd might have been able to get more crucial game-time into his system.
The decorated veteran of 239 senior games is now facing some delicate juggling of intense training and match assimilation ahead of the Tigers shootout with rising young superstar on-ballers Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin.