Star AFLW forward Brooke Lochland could make a shock return this season despite breaking her leg on Saturday.

The AFLW’s leading goalkicker had surgery yesterday and a plate inserted after breaking her fibula in a practice match.

The Western Bulldogs are hopeful Lochland will be available for selection by Round 6 of home and away season against Melbourne on March 9 at Marvel Stadium.

It’s expected she’ll be back running in six weeks.

But in a blow to the reigning premier, No.1 draft pick Isabel Huntington isn’t expected to play until possibly Round 5.

Huntington tore her ACL in February and aggravated the same knee in early December.

Bulldogs coach Paul Groves said on the weekend the club would work out a course of action after Lochland had consulted a specialist.

“It’s disappointing for Brooke because she’s done a mountain of work this pre-season,” he told the club website.

“We look forward to finding out exactly what it is and working out our next steps.”

The former Winter Olympics hopeful kicked 12 majors to take out the as-yet unnamed AFLW Goalkicking Award.

Co-captains Katie Brennan and Ellie Blackburn were among the team’s best in the seven-point win over Collingwood at MARS Stadium in Ballarat.