CARLTON forward Jack Silvagni has received some much-needed good news on the injury front and will avoid surgery on a damaged shoulder, with the Blues set to be further bolstered by the impending return of defender Caleb Marchbank.
Silvagni, who was restricted to just three games last season due to rib and knee injuries, was substituted out of Thursday night's season-opener against Richmond after dislocating his shoulder just before half-time.
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Despite initial fears he could be set for an extended period on the sidelines, the versatile forward trained on Monday and will not be required to undergo an operation on the same shoulder he injured in 2015.
He will miss Thursday night's crucial clash with arch rivals Collingwood, though the Blues believe the 23-year-old could make a speedy recovery in time for a round three encounter with Fremantle.
"Jack was pretty sore at the time," Carlton high-performance boss Andrew Russell said.
"He definitely couldn't continue the game, but he's settled down better than we thought he would at the time. We think he'll probably miss this week."
Carlton expects Jack Martin to return from a minor calf injury to face Collingwood on Thursday night, with Mitch McGovern (back) and Marchbank (calf) also closing in on long-awaited returns.
Marchbank won't play this weekend, though the Blues are confident he will be fit for round three in what could be the injury-plagued defender's first AFL appearance in nearly two years following neck, knee and calf problems.
"He's had another great week on the training track," Russell said.
"He had another full session (on Monday) and he looked good. He's getting really close to playing. If we had a VFL game this week, he'd be a chance to play.
"He'll definitely be available next week, we just need to make a decision on whether that's at VFL or AFL level."
High-profile free agency recruit, Zac Williams, will also return on Thursday night to make his club debut after missing last week's defeat to Richmond through suspension.