Geelong will unveil young second-year talent Cooper Whyte against Carlton on Thursday night, with the 20-year-old to make his debut and help plug the loss of Tom Stewart in defence.

The Cats will be without their four-time All-Australian due to a knee injury sustained in Round 1 for the coming weeks, opening up a spot at the selection table for Whyte given premiership pair Jack Henry (foot) and Jake Kolodjashnij (concussion) are currently sidelined.

Whyte, a local product out of Grovedale, joined the Cats as the 64th selection at the 2021 National Draft as a forward half prospect.

Confirming Whyte's selection on Wednesday, senior coach Chris Scott revealed Whyte will likely take on a defensive role in Stewart's absence.

Whyte will be joined by new recruit Jack Bowes in pulling on the hoops for the first time, with Scott confirming the former Suns utility will also line up against Carlton this week.

Bowes made the move to Kardinia Park in the recent off-season through a highly-documented trade from the Suns, who also gave up Pick 7 in the National Draft to the Cats in a move to offload Bowes' significant salary.

"It's really exciting for us this week, we'll have a couple of players play their first game for the Cats," Scott told media.

"Cooper Whyte will come in as a young player making his AFL debut and Jack Bowes will play as well. So they're the ins, and (Tom) Stewart is the out.

"We're not ready to communicate the other out at the moment. In any case, I'd rather focus on the exciting part"

Young defender Sam De Koning has been cleared to face the Blues in Round 2, while All-Australian utility Mark Blicavs is likely to shift to defence to aid the club's injury woes.

Geelong and Carlton will go head-to-head at the MCG on Thursday night at 7:20pm (AEDT).