MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 02: Melbourne Captain Daisy Pearce (Left) and Western Bulldogs Captain Ellie Blackburn (right) during the AFL Womens media opportunity at Marvel Stadium on December 02, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Western Bulldogs star Ellie Blackburn is set to miss Saturday's trip to Kardinia Park as she enters AFL health and safety protocols.

The Bulldogs are searching for their first win of the season after falling to the Demons in Round 1, a match that saw coach Nathan Burke lose jet forward Isabel Huntington for the season due to an ACL injury.

Now, as revealed AFLW reporter Sarah Black, Blackburn will join Huntington - among several other key names - on the sidelines for the Dogs' second encounter of 2022.

Ellyse Gamble (ankle), Deanna Berry (ACL) and Hannah Scott won't make returns to face the Cats this weekend, while Bailey Hunt remains in doubt.

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The Bulldogs could welcome Katie Lynch and Sarah Hartwig back however, while top-up players could be required.

Burke was able to name just the two emergencies for the Melbourne loss, with their arch-rivals coming away victors to the tune of 24 points at Whitten Oval.

Huntington's absence in attack is set to be greatly felt throughout the remainder of the year, with the Dogs already looking to fill gaps in their rearguard with Hunt and Lynch unable for selection.

With Blackburn now set to be removed from midfield planning for this weekend, further concerns grow for Burke and co.

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The reigning Bulldogs best and fairest winner backed up a strong 2021 campaign with 21 possessions, 386 metres gained, seven tackles and five inside 50s in her side's season opener.

The Dogs will face a lively Cats midfield that are on the pounce, with young duo Georgie Prespakis and Nina Morrison having stellar showings in their loss to North Melbourne last week.

Geelong will host the Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium at 7:10pm Saturday, with both clubs eager to claim their first handful of premiership points for the season.

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