Adam Cerra celebrates a goal during the R3 match between Carlton and North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on March 29, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

CARLTON'S firing midfield will receive another boost, with Adam Cerra to return from a hamstring injury for the Blues' blockbuster against Collingwood.

After missing the past two games, the former Fremantle player will be back for the Blues' showdown with their fierce rivals at the MCG on Friday night.

Carlton coach Michael Voss declared Cerra would be right to return, rejoining captain Patrick Cripps and fellow star Sam Walsh in the middle.

"He's come up quite well," Voss said of Cerra on Thursday.

"He could have been right on the edge last week. We were a bit more conservative, but he's been able to train really well and he's ready to go."

Voss did rule out defender Mitch McGovern, who has also been managing a hamstring issue.

Mitch McGovern (L) and Adam Saad walk off the ground after the R5 match between Carlton and Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on April 13, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

But the 29-year-old is likely to be available for next Thursday night's clash with Melbourne at the MCG.

Carlton comfortably won clearances and inside 50s against Geelong last Saturday, but the Blues conceded goals too easily in the 13-point loss.

It left Voss fuming immediately after the match, calling the performance "unacceptable", despite still being a chance to pinch the win in the final minutes and knock off the unbeaten Cats.


"We just felt like we fell below the standards really of how we want to defend," he said on Thursday.

"For moments in games, for small periods of time in games, we just open that window up for too long to be able to convert and scored a little too easily on the back of it."

Getting  himself up for a clash with Collingwood has always been easy for Voss.

The Blues (5-2) will meet their famous rivals in front of a potential crowd of more than 90,000 on Friday night.

Jesse Motlop celebrates a goal during the round 20 match between Collingwood and Carlton at the MCG, July 28, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

After suffering significant heartache at the hands of the Magpies in recent times, Carlton turned the tables in stunning fashion in round 20 last year on the way to reaching a preliminary final.

Collingwood recovered from its late stumble in the home-and-away season to win a 16th VFL/AFL premiership - equalling the Blues and Essendon.

"Collingwood is very easy (to get up for), we've had more than a history - even in a previous lifetime at a different club (as a player and coach at Brisbane)," Voss said.

Nathan Buckley of Collingwood and Michael Voss of Brisbane hold the premiership cup after the Grand Final Parade, September 26, 2003. Picture: AFL Photos

"When you come to Carlton, that's only reinforced.

"It's history you get to tap back into, it's all part of your story. It's really important to understand where you've come from and why it's important as a club.

"The only reason they become rivalries is because you have relevance, you're playing big games against one another and important moments in seasons."