"He's pulled up a bit tight," Blues coach Leon MacDonald said.
"It's nothing too major but we want to make sure we don't risk anything with Dan.
"With calves, if you get on top of them early, it can take a couple of days to come right, but if you're a little bit late it can be three to four weeks, so it makes sense just to look after him."
Carter's withdrawal means the full glare of the spotlight will be back on Beauden Barrett, who is returning to Wellington for the first time since his move from the Hurricanes to the Blues.
Barrett will appear opposite younger brother Jordie at fullback, with MacDonald opting against pushing the two time World Player of the Year into the number 10 jersey.
"There was a lot of thought given to it," MacDonald said.
"He's quite happy playing good rugby at the back and enjoying his time there. That makes it an easier decision for us because Otere (Black) has been playing good rugby as well and the team is prospering because those two work well together."
Barrett's All Blacks team mate Dane Coles has returned for the Hurricanes after he missed last week's victory over the Otago Highlanders with a minor calf injury.