MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04: Lachie Hunter of the Bulldogs celebrates after kicking a goal during the round 20 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on August 4, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The Western Bulldogs could be forced into four changes for this weekend’s clash against Carlton, according to AFL Media.

A bruising affair against North Melbourne saw Lin Jong (syndesmosis), Bailey Smith (concussion) and Laitham Vandermeer (conussion) all go down with injuries.

Jong is expected to be sidelined for two months, while Smith and Vandermeer unlikely to get up for this weekend.

Defender Hayden Crosier will also miss after having his one-match ban for tackling Kangaroos youngster Jack Mahony upheld at the tribunal on Tuesday night.

However, the Dogs will be bolstered by the return of star midfielder Lachie Hunter, who is available for selection after serving his four-match suspension for an alleged drink driving incident during the league shutdown.

On top of his four-match ban, the 25-year old was stripped of the vice-captaincy and given a $20,000 fine, with $15,000 suspended.

“I’ve got no doubt it would have changed him and he’ll learn from it … I think it’ll improve his outlook and who he is as a young man,” Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge told radio station RSN on Wednesday.

“He’s very fit and strong and he’s ready to play. It’s probably difficult coming back from that period away, after letting yourself down and you still know you’ve got four weeks to serve.

“But he’s focused on his work and he hasn’t taken his eye off the ball with trying to help others.

“We’ll consider him for selection this week, and with ‘Jongy’ going down there’s a spot there. And with Crozier being suspended, there’s another spot. So, we’ll consider him. He’s definitely ready to go.”

The Bulldogs face Carlton at Metricon Stadium on Sunday night at 6.45pm (AEST).