The Canterbury Bulldogs have delivered an update on a number of injured and absent stars as pre-season training starts to ramp up heading into the 2023 season.
Injuring his patella ligament last season, Billy Tsikrikas is projected to be available for their Round 1 clash against Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. He is currently training with the squad, where he has resumed non-contact fieldwork.
Tsikrikas only featured in two games for the Bulldogs last season, playing mainly in the NSW Cup side. However, he is expected to be a regular feature of the club this season, having previously played under Cameron Ciraldo at the Penrith Panthers.
Fullback Declan Casey and prop Sam Hughes are both expected to return at the beginning of the season. The former is expected in Round 2 while the latter is predicted to return the following week in Round 3.
Casey, who played three games in the NRL last season had an infamous debut, where he left the field concussed in a medi-cab. He underwent shoulder surgery post-season and has slowly integrated back into team training on the field.
Just like Casey, Hughes underwent surgery late last year to treat a lower back injury. He has begun on-field running but is yet to be integrated back into team-based activities.
The last of the injured Bulldogs players is Bailey Biondi-Odo. The 21-year-old halfback is estimated to miss most of this season after suffering an ACL injury in last year's NSW Cup elimination final.
Undergoing surgery in October, he has yet to resume on-field running. His earliest projected return is in Round 21 against the Penrith Panthers.