COLLINGWOOD defender Marley Williams will return to football through the VFL this week if he feels he's right, coach Nathan Buckley says.

While the decision won't be entirely up to Williams, Buckley said there was no obvious impediment to him returning immediately after a Perth court gave him a 12-month suspended sentence on Tuesday for breaking another man's jaw in 2012.

Buckley said Williams was physically fit enough to play, having trained strongly in the eight weeks since he was found guilty of grievous bodily harm in February, but other factors needed to be taken into account.

"My feel on it is that through the circumstances he has been involved in, if you could imagine it takes an emotional toll. There is a rollercoaster that he has ridden through the last 16 months," Buckley said.

"[He's] not the only one. Clearly there are other people involved. We're now looking out for him [and] making sure he settles as well as he possibly can.

"We see game time as part of that rehabilitation, as a part of that progression back to being available for senior selection and we see it as soon as this week."  

Buckley said the club would speak to Williams during the week and if player and club felt he was right then he would line up for Collingwood's VFL team at Windy Hill against Essendon on Saturday. 

He said Williams would need at least a couple of games in the VFL before being considered for senior selection. 

AFL deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan suggested Williams had been adequately punished.
"Andrew Dillon and the integrity team have been working through it with [Collingwood CEO] Gary Pert and his team," he told in Canberra.
"I know he's already been out [voluntarily] for five weeks, so that's a significant penalty in itself."

Buckley said "a fit, football-ready Marley Williams makes us a better side", but the impact of the court ordeal on the 20-year-old had to be closely watched. 

"Marley is a very quiet, respectful young bloke. He goes about his business with a minimum of fuss, [a] very stoic type [who] swallows a fair bit internally. You look at him – happy or sad – he doesn't give you much upfront."

Buckley said he was conscious of what Williams had gone through since the incident, which the coach described as an error of judgment, but he had shown a consistent pattern of good behaviour and was seen as a future leader of the club.