AFL Rd 1 - Essendon v Hawthorn
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Dyson Heppell of the Bombers in action during the 2021 AFL Round 01 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Marvel Stadium on March 20, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell and midfielder Kyle Langford will miss this weekend's clash against the Bulldogs.

The pair sustained injuries in the Bombers' seven-point loss to the Swans on the weekend and will be sidelined for the time-being.

Despite playing out the game, scans have confirmed that Langford will miss the next three weeks due to a minor hamstring strain.

The injury is a massive blow for the Bombers, as they look to land a top-eight finish this season.

“We’re disappointed to be without him (Langford) for a period of time", Mahoney said, per The Herald Sun

"Particularly given he had just returned from a similar strain after completing a thorough rehab program and performed very well yesterday.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Kyle Langford of the Bombers celebrates the win with fans during the round 15 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium on July 1, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

However, despite undergoing surgery for a broken thumb, Essendon skipper Heppell is set to miss only a week of footy.

“Dyson played on (Sunday) with that broken thumb and he went for scans this morning which confirmed a fracture" said Mahoney.

“He has undergone surgery this afternoon and he will likely miss this week but we will wait and see how this progresses over the coming days.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 25: Dyson Heppell of the Bombers looks dejected as he leaves the field following the round 10 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 25, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

There is more positive news for Bombers fans however, with defender Jayden Laverde likely to face the Bulldogs on Sunday.

Despite being forced off the ground late into the Swans match, the defender has been cleared of any serious shoulder damage and will face a fitness test this week to determine his availability.

With the Bombers still in contention to make the eight, this weekend's clash remains as a must-win match.

So can Essendon beat the mighty Western Bulldogs without Heppell and Langford? Find out this Sunday when the Bulldogs will take on the Bombers at Marvel Stadium.