THE WESTERN Bulldogs' depth is set to be boosted again, with premiership player Toby McLean expected to return from his knee reconstruction to play in the VFL this week.
The 2016 flag winner went down with his season-ending knee injury in September last year, with the midfielder undergoing surgery after the round 17 incident.
But he has made strong progress throughout his rehabilitation and coach Luke Beveridge said McLean is likely to resume this week for the Footscray VFL line-up on Sunday against Casey Demons.
"Toby McLean we believe will play this week off his ACL. He obviously won't come back into the AFL side, but that will be an emotional lift for everyone again," Beveridge said on the weekend.
"He's been on that tumultuous journey of recovery, so that's going to be important for us."
The 25-year-old McLean had spent time out of the Dogs' senior side last year but shapes as an exciting addition to the midfield/forward line in the second half of the season.
The Dogs expect to get ruckman Tim English back from concussion for Friday night's huge clash with Melbourne after the big man turned the corner in his recovery late last week and stepped up his training.
Midfielder Patrick Lipinski will also be in line to return after missing Saturday night's thumping of St Kilda with a thigh injury, with Adam Treloar to miss with a suspected syndesmosis injury.