Richmond Tigers Training Session
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 16: Bachar Houli of the Tigers hand passes during a Richmond Tigers AFL training session at Punt Road Oval on June 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Bulldog Lachie Hunter and Tiger Bachar Houli are set to return make their AFL returns in Round 12 after both having extended layoffs due to personal reasons, according to SEN’s Sam Edmund

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.”

Meanwhile, Houli is chance to play for Richmond against the Gold Coast on Monday night, with the star defender set to leave 14-day quarantine on Thursday and join his teammates.

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.