WESTERN Bulldogs star defender Caleb Daniel is set to return against Geelong on Saturday night, while Adam Treloar is also expected to be available for the trip down the highway to GMHBA Stadium. 

Daniel has missed the past four games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee to repair cartilage damage ahead of the Bulldogs' trip to Queensland to face Brisbane in round 16.

Treloar was substituted out of last Saturday night's win over Melbourne due to calf tightness in the last quarter, but trained alongside Daniel at the Whitten Oval on Thursday and appears set to take his place at the Cattery. 

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"He [Daniel] should be available. We anticipate he'll be fine and head down the highway and face the Cats," coach Luke Beveridge said on Thursday.

"We think he'll [Treloar] be OK. If there is any doubt at all then we won't play him, but we think he'll be fine."

Adam Treloar looks on after being subbed from the match in the round 19 game between the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on July 23, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

In the absence of the 2020 All-Australian and Sutton Medal winner, Treloar has been deployed across half-back with success since round 17, averaging 28.3 disposals and 463 metres gained. 

Beveridge wouldn't reveal if the return of Daniel will result in a return to the midfield for the former Greater Western Sydney and Collingwood midfielder.  

"It's an answer I'm not prepared to divulge right now. It creates a healthy headache for us. Our midfield depth has been there for a while. To have some depth across that half-back area is good for us. We'll work through it," he said. 

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Former No.1 pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan was recognised for his breakout performance against the Demons with the round 19 Rising Star nomination on Monday, after kicking a career-high five goals in just his 17th appearance at AFL level. 

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Beveridge said the young key forward has been rewarded for not only putting the work in to allow him to perform at such a high level, but also for handling the intense pressure that has come his way. 

"It will do his belief and confidence the world of good. As far as coming of age, he's worked extremely hard behind the scenes physically, not only on his preparation to play the game at the level, his endurance and speed and power, but also on the skill aspects. He's getting some reward," he said.

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"All the coaches he's worked with here and all his teammates feel all warm and fuzzy in their heart and in their bellies seeing what he did because they know he's worked hard, but ultimately it's up to the boy to be able to manage the scrutiny.

"To be able to keep a focus when things aren't going so well, and I can tell you the times he hasn't been in the side when he's been omitted, he hasn't played his best footy at state league level, but he's still been in here as early as anyone else, working with Matty Spangher, Brucey, Naughts and our other coaches. He is the first one to front up and he's getting some reward, which is fantastic. 

"He is a really good example of a young man who has copped a bit early, even on the social scene, and now we need to make sure he stays grounded. His contribution will be different this week, but as long as he's working hard for the team is all that matters."

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After Richmond's controversial use of the medi-sub against Fremantle last Friday night, Beveridge said the simple solution is to remove the medi-sub and allow each team to have five players on the bench to use at any time.  

"What I'm always promoting is let's make sure we don't create any new regulatory layers as far as policy and rules and interpretations. We just keep creating more and more and more," he said.

"Right at the start, quite simply, my drive was if we think we need one as a buffer for concussion, don't make it a sub, just have five on the interchange and you can use them if you want. That will add a bit of tactical intrigue. 

"As I said back then, and I did promote when I had my say at the table when the AFL asked: I'm not going to circulate five players in a game, four is almost one too many anyway. You're likely going to sit one down until you need one player. You can introduce that player for a quarter here and there and it creates a different angle. 

"All it does is it removes all the red tape. We don't have to explain ourselves if we take a player out of the game. It is just so simple, but we don't usually make simple and practical decisions, unfortunately."

The Western Bulldogs leapt back into the top-eight after back-to-back wins against St Kilda and Melbourne, but need to keep winning if they are going to return to September this year.