PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 04: Michael Hurley walks out onto the field during an Essendon Bombers AFL training session at Optus Stadium on September 04, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

St Kilda and Essendon veterans Dan Hannebery and Michael Hurley are both expected to make much-awaited comebacks to football this weekend through the VFL.

The Saints are planning for Hannebery to play for Sandringham against Coburg at Piranha Park, while Hurley is expected to line up for the Bombers VFL against Gold Coast at Windy Hill.

Hurley has not played since 2020 after sustaining a hip infection in February last year, which left him sidelined all season in 2021. He then battled several calf niggles amidst preparing for a return to play this season.

The club outlined a cautious return for Hurley to get back to full-scale training, with Essendon fitness boss Sean Murphy speaking positively about his progression.

"'Hurls' has had a really good month of training," he said speaking to

"His training loads have been at a high level and all things are looking really promising for him."

Meanwhile, Hannebery, who has been struck by numerous hamstring and groin injuries in the past few seasons, only played two games in 2021. Since moving from Sydney to the Saints at the end of 2018, he has played just 15 of a possible 79 games for St Kilda.

In March this year, Hannebery underwent surgery to overcome the issues that have marred his time at the Saints in a bid to return to play in 2022.

Two months ago, Hannebery then travelled to Germany to visit Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, a renowned soft tissue expert who has previously worked on AFL players' injuries.

The intense medical program has since allowed the 31-year-old to build his training program to a level where the club is ready for him to resume playing.

He was supposed to play in the VFL last week, but had his return delayed by one week due to entering the league's health and safety protocols.