Carlton are set to be without injured star Jacob Weitering for a significant portion of the AFL season as they eye defensive cover at the mid-season draft.
Weitering was substituted out of Sunday's heartbreaking four-point defeat to Collingwood with a suspected AC joint injury in his right shoulder.
The setback compounds the Blues' personnel issues in defence with Mitch McGovern (hamstring) out with a long-term injury and Oscar McDonald (back) unavailable for the rest of the season.
Ruckman Marc Pittonet (knee) is also out of action, with Carlton's injuries coming after tall defender Liam Jones left the club in November because of his COVID-19 vaccination stance.
Blues coach Michael Voss said Weitering would see a surgeon in the coming days to determine the best course of action.
"We think it will be more on the major end than the minor end," Voss said.
"If it ventures into that space (surgery) we're probably talking more a longer-term injury, five or six weeks, than anything else.
"There's some challenges in that and I've spoken to the group about how you get thrown some spanners.
"Every team does throughout the season and you get challenged at different times.
"Through those periods of time, which is what we've done, we've been able to find a way. That's what the challenge is ahead of us."
Carlton were already considering adding to their key position stocks at Wednesday's mid-season draft before Weitering's injury.
They have been linked to former North Melbourne defender Sam Durdin, who is playing with SANFL club Glenelg.
"We'll have a look at it, no doubt," Voss said of the draft.
"We'll be certainly looking to take those (two) spots if we can but the final details of that we'll come across in the next couple of days."
Voss said Brodie Kemp and Caleb Marchbank would come into consideration to fill Weitering's position after the bye, with Carlton to take on Essendon in round 13.
Despite the loss to Collingwood, the Blues (8-3) are firmly in contention for a top-four spot halfway through their first season under Voss.
"We go to the break on the turn at 8-3 and have increased probably our own expectations about what our hopes are for this season," Voss said.
"We've been able to do that by being able to manoeuvre through a few things and being able to manage some injuries and time on ground for players.
"We've had a couple of spanners thrown at us but we'll keep working through them."
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.