Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge believes forward Tom Boyd is still a “fair way off” from making his return to senior football as he battles with clinical depression.
Boyd stepped away from the Bulldogs earlier this July to deal with his mental health issues, and missed the Dogs’ loss to Adelaide last weekend.
The 21-year-old trained at Whitten Oval on Tuesday with the side as he looks to get back into football, but Beveridge told reporters on Saturday morning he couldn’t put a timeframe on Boyd’s return.
“The contact hours are scaling up but he’s probably a fair way off now, because he’s missed a bit of footy and he missed some training,” Beveridge said.
“As far as my personal contact, it’s mainly when he’s here at the club. He needs his space at the moment and time to figure out his journey in life as much as in footy.
“The medium-term forecast around footy is a bit uncertain. I couldn’t tell you whether he’s going to play at VFL level next week (or) the week after. We’ve just got to work through Tom’s situation with him over the ensuing weeks.”
Boyd has featured in 11 matches for the reigning premiers so far this season, and has kicked seven goals for the Dogs while also pinch-hitting in the ruck.
The forward joins fellow big man Travis Cloke on the sidelines in battling mental health issues, as Cloke hasn’t played senior football since round 12, and only made his return to the VFL last weekend.