Blues star Weitering sets AFL return aim

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Carlton star Jacob Weitering has set his sights on making an AFL comeback from shoulder surgery in a round 17 clash against West Coast.

Weitering had an operation last week to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder following a collision with Collingwood's Jordan De Goey in round 11.

It was another hit to the Blues' tall defensive stocks, with Mitch McGovern (hamstring) sidelined long-term and Oscar McDonald (back) out for the year.

Caleb Marchbank will fill the void against Essendon on Friday night, picked to play his first game in three years after his own horror run with injury.

Carlton coach Michael Voss can also call upon Brodie Kemp and former North Melbourne defender Sam Durdin, who was picked up in the pre-season draft.

But vice-captain Weitering's return is crucial to the Blues' premiership hopes.

The 24-year-old is eyeing a return against the Eagles at Optus Stadium in round 17.

"I've just got to remain as positive as I can and make sure I rehab this as well as I can," Weitering told SEN.

"Naturally these things can heal quicker or take longer depending on the body itself.

"For me, we did say six weeks post-surgery, which I think takes us to the West Coast game in Perth.

"That's probably the game that's most realistic."

Weitering said a series of knee, neck and back injuries had left Marchbank wondering if he would ever get back to AFL level.

"He's done three years in rehab and he's done an awesome job to get to where he is," Weitering said.

"We've just got to be supporting him and making sure he's confident to go out and do a job for the club this week."

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