Viliame Kikau during the round two NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and Canterbury Bulldogs at AAMI Park on March 11, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Grimes/Zero Digital Sports)

The Canterbury Bulldogs are set for a much-needed and long-awaited boost with Viliame Kikau set to return against the Penrith Panthers this weekend.

Kikau ruptured his pectoral muscle at training in April in what is one on just a long list of injuries for the men in blue and white this year.

He is finally set to return however in mid-July according to The Daily Telegraph, completing a roughly three-month return to play.

Canterbury originally advised the injury could be clear in as little as eight weeks, but eventually changed their estimate, with Kikau now set to return more or less on time.

The club has endured a torrid run in Cameron Ciraldo's first season at the helm and with seven rounds remaining, are virtually out of finals contention.

The high-profile recruit, who left the Penrith Panthers at the end of last year to join Matt Burton at the Bulldogs, and will be joined by another Panther in Stephen Crichton for 2024, managed just four games for his new club at the start of the season.

In what was an instant impact, Canterbury beat the Melbourne Storm away from home and the Tigers during the first four weeks of the season with Kikau running for almost 80 metres per game and adding 6 tackle busts.

The Bulldogs are just two points ahead of the St George Illawarra Dragons and four ahead of the Wests Tigers at the bottom of the table and without a decent finish to the season, could yet pick up the dreaded wooden spoon.

The Fijian international could slot straight back into the starting side for this weekend's game, with the Bulldogs desperate to stick it to the defending premiers before playing a pair of winnable games against the Dolphins and Newcastle Knights on either side of a Round 23 bye.