CHRIS Judd's return date has been pushed back to round five, with the former Carlton skipper's recovery from injury taking longer than expected.
Judd had surgery early last month after being troubled by ongoing Achilles tendinitis, with the Blues initially targeting a round three return for the two-time Brownlow medallist.
But Carlton football manager Andrew McKay told on Tuesday that the Blues had decided to push Judd's return date back two weeks.
"I wouldn't call it a setback, but certainly (he has been) a little slower to recover than we would have liked," McKay said.
"So we've decided to take the pressure off Chris and just push that start date back to round five, just to give him a little bit more time to recover and certainly get fit before he makes an assault on the season."
In better news for Blues fans, McKay said vice-captain Andrew Carrazzo (calf) would have been ready to return via the VFL this weekend, but with the Northern Blues not playing, would return next weekend.
McKay said Sam Docherty (knee) and Dennis Armfield (knee) would be also be fit to line up for the Northern Blues' round one game next weekend.

Twitter: @AFL_Nick.