MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 16: Jake Melksham of the Demons tackles Tom Williamson of the Blues during the AFLX match between Melbourne Demons and Carlton Blues at Etihad Stadium on February 16, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Carlton defender Tom Williamson is set to return for his first game since 2017, after a spate of back injury issues which kept him sidelined for the whole of the 2018 season.

The Blues youngster, who played 15 games in 2017, is likely to play for the Northern Blues this Saturday afternoon against Collingwood at Victoria Park.

Andrew Russell, Carlton’s Director of High Performance, has been pleased with what the 20-year-old has been able to produce over the last couple of months.

“Tom Williamson has had a great training block for the last 6-8 weeks: we’ve been really excited by what he’s been able to produce,” Russell told Carlton’s club website.

“Not just physically, he’s done a lot of footy preparation work. We expect him to be available this week and start preparing to play AFL.”

Young defender Harrison Macreadie is also in line to play his first game of the season.

“Harrison Macreadie has had a fantastic block of training like Tom Williamson,” Russell said.

“We expect him to train this week — he’s a test, we’re extremely hopeful he’s going to play VFL this week.”