Carlton have suffered a significant AFL blow, losing young guns Jacob Weitering and Charlie Curnow for at least the next fortnight.
Weitering is sidelined for two to three weeks with the right shoulder injury he suffered during Sunday’s win over Essendon.
The Blues said on Monday that Weitering has a minor capsular injury.
“We will wait for the soreness to settle and then Jacob will focus on building the strength back into his shoulder before being considered to play, which at this stage looks to be around two to three weeks,” said Blues football boss Andrew McKay.
They also confirmed on Monday that Curnow has glandular fever – a virus that could mean he is a long-term absentee.
“After Charlie was feeling run down last week, we got some tests done and results have confirmed this diagnosis,” McKay said.
“We will monitor him closely over the next week or two, which will give us a clearer indication of how long he will be sidelined.”
Weitering was the No.1 pick in last November’s national draft and the Blues took Curnow at No.12.
Curnow missed Sunday’s win because of his illness.
They have made an immediate impression at Carlton, with Weitering debuting in round one.
The key defender won the round-three Rising Star nomination.
Curnow, the younger brother of fellow Carlton player Ed, also has impressed since joining the senior side in round two.
But there was some good news ahead of Saturday’s match against rivals Collingwood, with star onballer Patrick Cripps to return.
Cripps was a late withdrawal from Sunday’s game with calf tightness.
“We know what Cripper can do inside – he’s a big body and he’s been a really good player for us,” said Blues utility Dale Thomas.
Carlton’s rebuild under new coach Brendon Bolton is going well, with the Blues winning their last two games.
One of the highlights has been Thomas’ improving form.
The 2011 All-Australian has struggled in the last few years because of injury.
Thomas said on Monday that he was always confident his form could return, but he needed time.
“I understood that it was going to take a while out there – unfortunately the footy world demands results instantly,” he said.
“I’ve been patient.
“I’ve always known in the back of my mind that if I can play and string games together, have good pre-seasons, that I’d get there eventually.
“Hopefully that’s starting to show.”