Carlton young gun Sam Walsh has revealed the club had "exhausted every other option" to aid his back injury before opting for surgery that has placed the Blues ball magnet out of action for the start of this season.

Walsh initially suffered the back complaint in August prior to his side's crucial Round 23 clash with Collingwood which would eventually end their 2022 campaign, with Walsh a late withdrawal from the encounter.

Months after battling the issue Carlton opted to have Walsh go under the knife, a move that has sidelined the 22-year-old for his fourth full pre-season.

The four-time 22under22 team member has been able to begin his rehabilitation process however, with Walsh confident in the pathway toward his return to football.

“I've been able to start my rehab today which is exciting for me to have a process to follow now,” Walsh told 7 News Melbourne on Wednesday.

“I'm really confident it should all be good from here.

“It definitely ebbed and flowed a bit; I think anyone who's had back problems, the nature of it's pretty difficult because everyone's so different.

“For me, it went through stages where it was really good and other stages where we had to try a few different things.”

Walsh's setback added to a frustrating year of injuries for the Blues, with the likes of Jack Martin, Zac Williams and Mitch McGovern all sidelined for significant spells of the 2022 season.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Sam Walsh of the Blues looks dejected after a loss during the 2021 AFL Round 02 match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 25, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Blues have begun to address the concerning trend of injuries that have hampered the club, with the latest ailment seeing Walsh forced into surgery as the best avenue for recovery.

“Probably at my age, we exhausted every other option and it was evident that surgery was needed and I was confident in that,” Walsh said.

“Now I've just got to rehab it well to make sure that I can get back playing footy.”

The Blues confirmed in December that their young star would likely miss the opening month of the 2023 season and potentially more due to the operation.

For Walsh though, the 2021 John Nicholls medallist isn't looking too far ahead as he works through his rehabilitation.

"We haven't really spoken about long-term targets," he said.

“I've started to get moving which is exciting. From here (we can) map out a bit of a plan.

“I think that'll happen naturally; I'll have goals to hit along the way and then from there I'll know when I'm ready to play, and then we've just got to weigh up whether that's the right timing from a risk point of view.

”Obviously it's a pretty demanding game at the best of times, so I think in due course we'll know what that means.”

Walsh isn't the only young Blues midfielder under an injury cloud, with wingman Matt Cottrell currently on crutches nursing a "foot stress injury" to his right foot, per 7 News. 

Cottrell enjoyed a strong 2022 campaign to play all 18 games after coming into Michael Voss' side in Round 5.

Carlton are yet to disclose the diagnosis or severity of Cottrell's injury.

A majority of clubs are expected to have players return to training next week to continue their plans for 2023.

Carlton will open their season against Richmond at the MCG on Thursday, March 16.