Jason Johannisen kicks the ball during the Western Bulldogs' clash against Fremantle in round seven, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

WESTERN Bulldogs defender Jason Johannisen will be sidelined until after the club's mid-season bye in round 15 after straining his hamstring, but veteran midfielder Tom Liberatore is set to return next month.

Johannisen was set to play against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday before suffering the injury last Thursday. 

Scans have confirmed a moderate-grade hamstring strain that will rule Johannisen out for at least four games.

The Norm Smith medallist isn't expected to be available until the round 16 fixture against North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium. 

Johannisen missed nine weeks in the middle of last season with hamstring tendon damage, returning for two games before a calf injury ruled him out of the final fortnight of the home and away season. 

Liberatore has been given the green light to resume his AFL career after entering concussion protocols for the second time this season earlier this month.


After a positive recent review with a specialist, Liberatore is expected to return within the next three weeks.

Key defender Ryan Gardner is set for a long stint on the sidelines after injuring his wrist during training last week at the Whitten Oval. 

The 26-year-old has undergone surgery and is facing a recovery time of three months. 

After playing 22 games in 2022 to finish seventh in the Sutton Medal, Gardner has endured a frustrating injury run since and lost his spot in the Bulldogs' defence, managing only 10 senior games last year and none in 2024. 

Luke Beveridge's side is 5-5 and sits one game outside the eight, after upsetting the Giants at Engie Stadium on Saturday, a week after thumping Richmond. 

The Dogs host Sydney at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night.