THE WESTERN Bulldogs are set to regain premiership midfielder Lachie Hunter for Saturday night's clash with St Kilda, with ruckman Tim English also expected to be available.
The pair missed Saturday night's electric win over Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, with Hunter ruled out after hand surgery and English unavailable for his third straight week with concussion.
MEDICAL ROOM The full AFL injury list
But Hunter, who was close to facing the Power before being ruled out, is expected to further bolster the Dogs' midfield against the struggling Saints and the club is also optimistic that English will be available.
The Dogs have turned to young ruckman Jordon Sweet the past two weeks in the absence of first-choice ruckmen English and Stef Martin, who is out with an Achilles injury, with Sweet taking his chance to impress.
Defender Ryan Gardner faced a test to be available last week after the shoulder injury he suffered in round three, but the Dogs gave the backman another week to prove his fitness.
Gardner would be in consideration to replace former captain Easton Wood, who looks set to miss at least several weeks with a hamstring strain from the win against the Power. The Dogs' VFL side had the bye over the weekend and coach Luke Beveridge said on the weekend that the Saints' forward line height would be front of mind.
"There's some competition for spots through our back end and Ryan Gardner will probably play next week. I'm not sure if we'll bring him straight back in…St Kilda have really challenged us with their height in recent times," Beveridge said.
Hayden Crozier replaced Wood as the medical substitute and could also force his way back into the starting 22 against the Saints.
St Kilda expects to have midfielder Brad Crouch available for the important clash in their finals hopes, despite the former Crow undergoing surgery for a fractured cheekbone from the Saints' Friday night loss to Geelong.
However they will be without ruckman Rowan Marshall for at least a month after a setback with his foot injury.