Former Ararat footballer Tom Williamson will play his first game of football of the year this weekend.
The Carlton defender has failed to make an appearance in 2018 with a persistent back injury preventing him from taking to the field.
The 19-year-old will make his way back through the VFL, playing for Carlton’s affiliate side Northern Blues.
Williamson said he “can’t wait to be back out there”.
“It has been pretty frustrating sitting on the sidelines for the first few weeks so I am really keen to get back on the field,” he said.
“The body is feeling really strong so hopefully I will have a good first hit out.”
Williamson was set to return earlier in the season but suffered a setback forcing him to sit out until now.
“At about round two or three I had a little set back. My lower back flared up again which cost me another few weeks,” he said.
“The medical staff have been awesome to help me get back.”
The Blues will face Box Hill in round seven of the Victorian Football League.
Williamson managed to play 15 games in his first season of AFL football last year and was tipped to book a more regular spot in Carlton’s AFL side before injury struck him down.
“It has been a challenging start to the year with the injury but both my host family in Melbourne and my family back home have been really supportive, “Williamson said.
“The club has been really good to help me focus and get through a tough start to the year.”
The former Rats player will look to prove his fitness in the seconds, hoping make his way back into Carlton’s senior side in the coming weeks.
“This weekend will mostly be about my fitness and getting that match hardness back,” he said.
“If the coaches see my performance is up to AFL level and I am fit there is no reason I can’t be back in the ones in a few weeks time.”