Carlton to regain star defender Weitering from injury

Oliver Caffrey |

Carlton will be bolstered by the return of star defender Jacob Weitering against North Melbourne.
Carlton will be bolstered by the return of star defender Jacob Weitering against North Melbourne.

Undefeated Carlton will be bolstered by the return of star defender Jacob Weitering for the Blues’ Good Friday clash with North Melbourne.

The Blues vice-captain has overcome a calf issue and will play his first game of the season after missing wins over the Brisbane Lions and Richmond.

Carlton will also be able to pick defender Caleb Marchbank (illness) and forward Jesse Motlop (toe) to take on the Kangaroos.

But star midfielder Sam Walsh is still up to three weeks away from playing as he deals with a persistent back issue.

Carlton say Walsh will return to full training next week after being sidelined for the first two games of the season.

Meanwhile, Geelong captain Patrick Dangerfield will miss two games with a minor hamstring injury.

The 33-year-old hurt himself late in the Cats’ win over Adelaide on Friday night.

But scans have cleared Dangerfield of any major damage and he is expected to only miss matches against Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs.

Patrick Dangerfield
A hamstring issue will sideline Patrick Dangerfield for a couple of games. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Geelong coach Chris Scott would not be drawn on Dangerfield’s absence when fronting a press conference for veteran forward Tom Hawkins, who will play his 350th match when the Cats play the Hawks on Easter Monday.

But Cats assistant football boss Brett Johnson said Dangerfield would only be unavailable for the short term.

“We expect ‘Danger’ to only miss two weeks, so we look forward to getting him back on the park soon,” he said.

Fellow premiership midfielder Tom Atkins was a late withdrawal against the Crows with an adductor issue, but should return against Hawthorn.

“Tom was really close (to playing), he just had a real low-grade adductor injury that we didn’t want to risk,” Johnson said.

“We expect him to train fully tomorrow (Wednesday) and be available to play.”

Forward Gary Rohan (back) is still up to four weeks away from returning, while veteran midfielder Cam Guthrie could miss another six games as he recovers from a quad injury suffered during a pre-season match.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have confirmed recruit Nick Coffield needs a shoulder reconstruction and will be out for up to 14 weeks.

After arriving from St Kilda during the trade period, Coffield played in the Bulldogs’ opening two games of the season before suffering the injury.

Midfielder Brad Crouch has been added to the Saints’ growing injury list, with the veteran requiring surgery on his knee that he injured in a VFL game last week. He will miss up to eight weeks.

Utility Mason Wood (collarbone) and Fremantle recruit Liam Henry (hamstring) were hurt in the Saints’ impressive win over reigning premiers Collingwood last Thursday night.

Wood, who also suffered a concussion when he hurt his collarbone, will be out for about six games, while Henry could miss up to eight weeks after he was one of St Kilda’s best against the Magpies.