Hunter has not played for the Bulldogs since Round 7 due to “personal reasons”. The midfielder returned in a scratch match on on the weekend and is set to be named for Saturday’s match against the Adelaide Crows.
Hunter’s return could not have come at a better time for the Bulldogs, who are languishing outside the top eight after three straight losses.
The 25-year old said the loss of the vice-captaincy due to his drink driving scandal earlier in the year still hurts.
“It hurt a lot, and it still does,” he said.
“Even running out on the weekend, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it once or twice as I was running out. There’s aspirations to get back in that leadership group. That can only come over time.”
Houli entered quarantine almost a fortnight ago after remaining in Melbourne for the birth of his third child Mohammad and to be with his mother who contracted COVID-19.
Calf injuries previously impacted the 32-year old earlier in the season and during the shutdown period, with his last game being in Round 5 against Melbourne.
Fellow Tiger Shane Edwards remains in Melbourne awaiting for the birth of his child, but still remains confident he will rejoin the hub.
With the AFL set to charter more flights to Queensland from Melbourne for players, officials, family members and even CEO Gillon McLachlan, clubs remain confident players such as Gary Ablett will rejoin them.
Ablett previously left Geelong‘s hub in Queensland to return to Melbourne for family reasons.
Everyone who travels to Queensland must stay in 14-day quarantine before being allowed to enter the AFL hub.