Carlton coach Michael Voss hopes four weeks is enough time to get Mitch McGovern back up to speed for an AFL finals campaign after the defender’s return from injury.
McGovern got through his first senior match since round two in Sunday’s 36-point victory over GWS, showing he has overcome the hamstring issues that plagued him earlier in the year.
The 27-year-old took a heavy hit in a second-quarter marking contest but played out the game, finishing with 10 disposals and seven marks from 71 per cent game time.
McGovern’s focus now is to develop chemistry with fellow tall defenders Jacob Weitering and Lewis Young as the Blues hunt a top-four spot.
“The time’s going to be spent building that connection and those relationships,” Voss said.
“When one moves forward the other one’s got to roll in behind, who takes who when, and that’s just something he (McGovern) is going to have to take some time on.
“We’ll use all those minutes that we possibly can to try and build that over the course of the next month.”
Carlton (12-6) have just about confirmed their first finals appearance since 2013 and are within sight of the top four.
They face consecutive interstate trips for games against Adelaide and Brisbane, but have some concerns over star duo Sam Walsh (ankle) and Jacob Weitering (corked thigh).
Both players completed the GWS match and were important contributors but will require further assessment.
“I’m hoping that whatever (injury-related) momentum we’ve had go against us is starting to turn the other way,” Voss said.
“I’m not here to announce necessarily what he (Walsh) has done but we’re hoping it’s not too bad and that he’ll be OK, both boys.”
Walsh hurt his left ankle in a Callan Ward tackle and spent time in the change room but returned to raucous applause from Blues fans, finishing with 31 disposals.
“I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw him come back up on the sidelines,” Voss said.