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 expecting key forwards Viliame Kikau and Tevita Pangai Junior to be back on the field next week for a Round 7 clash against the Parramatta Eels.

The Bulldogs' injury crisis has been well-documented and took another turn during Friday afternoon's heavy loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, with Josh Addo-Carr hurting his ankle.

The star representative winger will likely miss two months of action, with tightrope surgery to repair a syndesmosis injury set for Saturday, while he also damaged the MCL in his right knee early in the game.

But better news followed the clash for the Bulldogs and their fans, with Pangai Junior and Kikau to return, as well as Jayden Okunbor, who will likely slot straight in for Addo-Carr after he missed the Rabbitohs' clash suspended for a hip drop tackle.

"Yeah, there should be a couple coming back [next week]," Ciraldo said in some positive news for the Bulldogs amidst a horror afternoon.

"We've got Kiks [Viliame Kikau] and [Tevita Junior] Pangai, Okunbor's back and maybe one other."

Pangai Junior is yet to play this year, having suffered a calf injury during the pre-season that has taken a substantially longer time to recover than first predicted, while Kikau has missed the last two games after a concussion at training.

Both are set to return though in a much-needed boost for the blue and white, although Ciraldo said it won't matter who is on the park if the team plays as they did during yesterday's game, where 50 points were conceded.

"Unless we fix what we did out there today, it doesn't matter who we have out there. If you pull on a Bulldogs jersey, you have to do better than that," the coach said.

Canterbury's clash with Parramatta will be played on Sunday, April 16, with kick-off set for 4:05pm (AEST) at Commbank Stadium.