Chris Judd's injury setback heightens speculation about whether the AFL great will continue beyond this season.
The two-time Brownlow medallist will undergo Achilles tendon surgery next week and will miss the opening two rounds of the season against Port Adelaide and Richmond.
While the Blues and Judd are optimistic about the prognosis, Carlton football director Andrew McKay also revealed on Friday that the star onballer had suffered from Achilles problems for the last year.
Judd, 30, signed a one-year contract extension last May and it is unclear whether he will keep playing beyond this season.
He was coy when asked about his playing future.
"I'm not looking any further past round three at this stage," Judd said.
"But certainly I see this as a bit of a speed hump individually.
"I'm looking forward to having a big impact for Carlton this year."
McKay said they decided on surgery because that would ensure the problem is fixed.
"We could go down the conservative track - we just wouldn't know the result," he said.
"It's been an ongoing thing (for) the last 12 months.
"Last season he played with a stiff and sore Achilles.
"He was a little bit inconsistent in his form, but that was quite often matched by the feeling he had in his Achilles."
Judd played 20 games last season and showed the old dog still has plenty of bite with a match-turning performance in the elimination final win over Richmond.
He is remarkably durable, playing less than 20 games in only two of his 12 AFL seasons.
Judd described it as a minor procedure and said he would aim to run again in two to three weeks.
He will definitely miss the opening two games against Port Adelaide and Richmond, but hopes to return in time for the April 6 clash with Essendon.
"I've had Achilles tendinitis for a little while now and in the last couple of weeks it's been preventing me from being able to get through full training sessions," he told the club website.
"So with five weeks to go before the season starts, we thought it was a good time to get on top of it.
"We've tried to put in some rehab measures and other measures which haven't worked.
"So this is the next progression from that."
The surgery will involve cutting nerve endings to remove the pain symptoms.
Apart from winning the 2004 and `10 Brownlows, Judd captained West Coast to the 2006 premiership.
He is a six-time All-Australian - including one as captain - and five-time club best and fairest winner.
Judd has played 259 games since his 2002 debut, including 134 for the Eagles.
The star midfielder captained West Coast and Carlton, but stood down from the role last season.