YOUNG defensive duo Harrison Macreadie and Tom Williamson are due to make their long-awaited returns to action this weekend.

After impressive debut seasons back in 2017, their last 12 months have been riddled by injury, with back injuries affecting their pre-seasons.

However, following some strong training over a sustained period of time, Director of High Performance Andrew Russell said the pair were likely to return via the Northern Blues on Saturday.

For Williamson, it will be just a long-awaited return to action, having only played just over a half of football last year.

“Tom Williamson has had a great training block for the last 6-8 weeks: we’ve been really excited by what he’s been able to produce,” Russell said.

“Not just physically, he’s done a lot of footy preparation work. We expect him to be available this week and start preparing to play AFL.”

Similarly, preparations will ramp up for Macreadie, who will be looking to add to the eight senior games he played in his first season.

“Harrison Macreadie has had a fantastic block of training like Tom Williamson,” Russell said.

“We expect him to train this week — he’s a test, we’re extremely hopeful he’s going to play VFL this week.”

Russell also said he expected Matthew Kennedy and Andrew Phillips to be available for selection after missing with corked quads.