“I WAS pretty shattered initially.”

It was back on 12 January when Jacob Weitering sustained a high-grade calf strain, and by his own admission, his first game back from injury seemed a world away at that point.

Precisely 11 weeks later, Weitering ran out in Carlton colours for the first time in 2024, typically performing his role to aplomb in a big Blue win.

Speaking post-match, Weitering - who said earlier in the year he initially thought his calf strain was an Achilles rupture - was clearly happy to be back.

Despite, as he says, what his on-field mannerisms may have suggested.


“It was fantastic. I was probably a little bit angrier than I should’ve been, even though we were a few goals up for most of the game,” Weitering said on the post-match People’s Presser.

“Hopefully the boys liked having me back and I contributed in a way where I supported them as much as I could. You’ve got to give credit to everyone else higher up the field, they made my job a little bit easier today.”

Weitering said he had tried to remain as present as possible in his time on the sidelines, combining his rehabilitation with some coaching of Carlton’s younger defenders in the lead-up to the season.

But casting his mind back to the moment two months ago, Weitering admitted he “was pretty shattered initially”. 

The chance to make his return in a game which represents so much of the good that football can provide off-field was an apt one for the reigning John Nicholls Medallist.

“I thought it was something worse than what it was. There’s perception, there’s the gratitude piece — you’ve got to take a step back sometimes. 

“I’ve got a really good mate in Sam Docherty, which sheds some light and a lot of perspective. [The Good Friday SuperClash] is a representation of what people are going through.

“It’s great to be part of a game like this, it’s something larger than life and larger than the game. When you start focusing on those things, rehab becomes a whole lot easier.”

Weitering ended his return with 18 disposals and two contested intercept marks, while also producing nine spoils — comfortably a game-high.

On his own performance, Weitering viewed it as “solid”, but said he’ll be looking to build with more game time under his belt.

“I probably spoiled the ball a little bit more than I should’ve, I probably could’ve marked a few.

“I just wanted to get back in and play a role, I didn’t want to take away from what ‘Gov’, ‘Boydy’, Zaccy, 'Newy' and the other boys were doing so far. You’ve got to give some credit to 'Kempy' and 'Youngy' in the way they held up for the first two games, we’re going to need them going forward. 

“We’ve got a deep backline, a more connected backline than previous years, we’ve certainly worked on that. It’s exciting times.”