The Western Bulldogs could regain star midfielder Josh Dunkley inside this month, following his ahead-of-schedule recovery from a shoulder reconstruction.
The 24-year-old last featured in the Bulldogs’ round six win against GWS, having spent the last couple of months in the rehab group.
“Josh has continued to progress ahead of expectation – being able to run, he has built a fantastic fitness base and his shoulder has returned to full strength,” Bulldogs’ Head of Sports Medicine, Chris Bell, said.
“He will start to reintegrate back into training within a week or so, and we hope to see him back playing in the next 2-3 weeks.”
In other positive news, speedster Laith Vandermeer has started running, following his knee-cartilage injury.
He will continue to build up his running loads, with a 2-3 week timeframe placed on his return to training.
The Bulldogs will however take a cautious approach with ruck Stefan Martin, who has suffered another minor injury setback.
“Stef has fully recovered from the AC joint injury in his shoulder, but unfortunately developed some groin soreness in training last week,” Bell said.
“Being conscious that he’s lacked continuity within the last month, we’ll take the next two weeks to build some durability in his training and playing volumes.”
Butler – available
Martin – 2-3 weeks
Dunkley – 2-3 weeks
Vandermeer – 3-4 weeks
Wood – 3-4 weeks
Jong – 4-5 weeks
Gardner – 6-8 weeks
Treloar – indefinite