CARLTON's season has gone from bad to worse, with midfielder Dale Thomas to miss the rest of the season following shoulder surgery on Wednesday.
The Blues announced the shoulder Thomas injured in the season opener against Richmond, which initially sidelined him for a month, had flared again.
The Blue is also recovering from a stress reaction in his toe and has been laid up in a moon boot.
"His shoulder hasn't been right ever since the first tackle of the first game at the start of the season, and (during) the last couple of games it actually slipped out," Carlton's football manager Andrew McKay told the club's website.
"We had some advice from the specialist yesterday and came to the conclusion that he needs a shoulder reconstruction, so he's having that done tomorrow."
McKay said the decision to put Thomas in for surgery was based on readying him for the start of the 2016 season.
Thomas has played 25 games for the Blues since joining the club on a lucrative four-year deal at the start of 2014.
"This way at least we will be able to get him fit and get him right before the start of the pre-season for 2016 to give him the best opportunity to play some really good footy next year," McKay said.
However, vice-captains Bryce Gibbs (back) and Michael Jamison (calf) are considered chances to return for Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide at the MCG.
Young Irishman Ciaran Byrne may also be right to return this week. Byrne has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in his AFL debut against Essendon in round three.