Marcus Bontempelli during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli has been carrying a shoulder injury throughout this season, Dogs senior coach Luke Beveridge has revealed.

The superstar midfielder is recording lows not seen since his debut season (not including shortened matches in 2020), having been placed mostly in attack in periods throughout the opening 12 rounds.

The 26-year-old suffered an ankle injury in his side's season opener against Melbourne, but was able to play out the encounter before facing further tests ahead of Round 2.

After playing the opening seven matches of the year, the Dogs opted to rest their skipper for their Round 8 bout with Port Adelaide, a match that saw the Whitten Oval club fall short by 17 points in South Australia.

While the four-time Charles Sutton Medal winner has stood tall on several occasions in 2022, Bontempelli has been doing so with a hampered shoulder.

Following Friday's 13-point loss to Geelong at Marvel Stadium, Beveridge revealed that his star midfielder has been battling with an issue in his AC joint.

"Marcus has had a minor shoulder-AC thing going on, which the players put up with here and there," the Dogs' senior coach said.

Next week's mid-season bye will come as a timely break for the Bulldogs, who will likely be removed from the top eight by the time they return to the field to face the Giants in Round 14.

While Bontempelli will enjoy another week's rest, defensive pair Ed Richards and Ryan Gardner will also welcome the bye after collecting ailments of their own on Friday night.

"Ed should be fine, I think 'Gardy' hurt his wrist, so we’ll have to have a look at that.

"One or two of the boys were a little ginger coming off a six-day break out of Perth, but that’s where they really steeled themselves and worked themselves into the ground after limited training week.

"It was great we could come at them, but it was just a shame we couldn’t drag ourselves across the line."

The Bulldogs could also welcome the return of Jason Johannisen for the Giants clash, with the utility having plied his trade for Footscray in the VFL the past two rounds.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Jason Johannisen of the Bulldogs is congratulated by Bailey Dale after kicking a goal during the round 17 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Johannisen has been able to overcome a calf complaint that kept him sidelined for the start of this season.

Forward trio Josh Bruce (knee), Toby McLean (knee) and Laitham Vandermeer (hamstring) could all return in the next month.

The Bulldogs will face GWS at GIANTS Stadium on Saturday, June 18.