WESTERN Bulldogs vice-captain Jordan Roughead will miss Saturday's clash against Gold Coast at Cazaly Stadium, while veteran defender Dale Morris will play with a fractured jaw.

Roughead hasn't recovered from the back spasms that plagued him during last Saturday night's win over Carlton, and was a notable absentee when his teammates flew out to Cairns on Thursday morning.

"He's pulled up a bit sore," coach Luke Beveridge told reporters at Melbourne Airport.

"We had to sub him out of the game at half-time last week. It'll take him a good week to get over it so he won't play."

Match preview: Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast

Despite a small fracture in his jaw, Morris has been cleared to face the Suns, and won't wear any protective gear.

Beveridge said the 198-game veteran wasn't in any pain and playing wouldn't risk any further damage.

"It was an innocuous incident, [he] just copped a knee," Beveridge said. 

"It's a strange fracture in that there is no impediment to what he's doing with the way he speaks or eats. As much as I lauded his courage last week, it's just a little speed hump and he'll be fine to play.

"We've had medical clearance and there's no real risk there. We all know the head is sacrosanct in the game but it's minimal risk and he'll be fine."

Roughead is one of three Bulldogs forced out of the side with injury.

Mitch Honeychurch (back), Toby McLean (shoulder) and Joel Hamling will miss the game against the Suns. 

Defender Michael Talia has been recalled after spending six weeks in the VFL, while highly prized recruit Tom Boyd returns to the side after missing last Saturday's won over Carlton with knee soreness.

Lachie Hunter's impressive VFL form has earned him a place back in the side.

Young midfielder Josh Prudden will make his long awaited senior debut after a horror run with injury over the past two seasons.

The 20-year-old's first year at the club in 2013 as marred by an ankle injury, while a knee injury restricted him to just four games in the VFL last season.

"Josh has had some injury concerns for a period of time and it's a real credit to him. He's persisted so that's fantastic that we've got another first gamer, " Beveridge said.

Meanwhile injured club champion Tom Liberatore is making solid progress in Thailand in his recovery from a knee reconstruction.

The midfielder was sent there last week as part of his rehabilitation program.

Beveridge declined to comment on the off-field indiscretions that led to the Bulldogs cancelling Liberatore's pre-planned holiday to Europe, but said the young star was working hard to rehabilitate his knee.

"He'll be back [from Thailand] in a couple of weeks," Beveridge said.

"He's going really well, really coming on with his knee rehab, and we're expecting him back in two weeks time, so he's going well.

"It's a tough journey coming back from an ACL injury - and we'll do the same thing with Clay Smith. We'll send him away at different times and fill in some of those weeks and get some variety into their recovery."

Smith is recovering from a third knee reconstruction after rupturing his ACL against St Kilda in round six.