DON'T do a double-take. A former Carlton player, who now plays for Essendon, will this week play for Carlton.

Two seasons after he left the Blues, ruckman Andrew Phillips will reunite with some of his former teammates and pull on the navy jumper once again in a VFL clash with Sandringham on Saturday.

In another unique moment in a campaign full of curveballs, Phillips will play for Carlton's reserves side after not travelling with Essendon's AFL squad for its recent stint in Queensland.

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He instead opted to remain in Victoria with his partner and their newborn child, who was born late last week.

The Bombers then applied to the League for Phillips to momentarily join another VFL program in order to gain much-needed match practice, with the Blues heeding their old rival's call.

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Carlton's VFL side had been desperately searching for ruck depth, with Marc Pittonet (ankle), Levi Casboult (knee) and Alex Mirkov (knee) all on the injury list.

Sandringham, the club's opponents this weekend, agreed to the proposition and subsequently Phillips will link up with his former side where he once played 27 senior games across four seasons between 2016-19.

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The switch was agreed upon under the same rule that enabled Richmond premiership player Alex Rance and former No.1 pick Paddy McCartin to represent Essendon's VFL outfit for its game against Southport last week.

Phillips, 30, has played six matches for Essendon this season but hasn't featured since the side's round 12 loss to Richmond.