PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 30: Jacob Weitering of the Blues celebrates the win on the siren during the 2019 AFL round 15 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Carlton Blues at Optus Stadium on June 30, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Carlton key defender Jacob Weitering could be in line for an early return to Michael Voss' side, with the 24-year-old a chance to play in the Blues' clash against the Saints next week.

Weitering suffered an AC joint injury in Round 11, which required the star defender to undergo surgery and was originally set to miss six weeks.

However, after a quicker-than-expected recovery and an increase in his training, 3AW reporter Sam McClure revealed that an early return next week could be on the cards for Weitering.

"Carlton is playing St Kilda next week," McClure said on Sportsday.

"Track watchers are telling me today that Jacob Weitering is not far away from playing in that game and that would be unbelievable.

"He's been doing some serious sessions on the track."

Weitering had an excellent first half of the season, with many having the former number one pick in the All-Australian conversation, cementing his stake as one of the best key defenders in the league.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 19: Jacob Weitering of the Blues kicks the ball during the round 7 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Port Adelaide Power at The Gabba on July 19, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

An early return for Weitering would be a major boost for the Blues, whose defence has thinning each week as more players suffer injuries.

Important defensive figures like Oscar McDonald (back), Mitch McGovern (hamstring), Zac Williams (calf), Caleb Marchbank (knee) and Sam Durdin (knee) are all absentees for Carlton, so Weitering's return will help relieve some pressure.

However, Voss' side will be without Weitering for an important clash this weekend, as they face the in-form Dockers at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon (1:45 pm AEST).