STRATHFIELDSAYE Storm coach Darryl Wilson is confident key forward Tom Bartholomew will return for the BFNL finals series.
Bartholomew re-injured his troublesome knee in the Storm's win over Castlemaine 10 days ago.
Bartholomew has only played four games this season and faces a race against time to be back in the Storm line-up before the end of the home and away season.
"We think Tommy will be back before the finals,'' Wilson said.
"He hasn't had much luck. It's the third time he's hurt the same knee, but they've all been different injuries."
Leading into the 2014 season, Bartholomew had kicked 81 goals in 33 games for the Storm.
He showed his class in last year's BFNL grand final loss to Golden Square, kicking four goals.
"Tommy hasn't played much footy, but he looks after himself well and we're confident he can have an impact for us,'' Wilson said.
Wilson confirmed that small forward Lachlan Sharp was unlikely to return to the senior side for this week's clash with Kyneton.
Midfielder Shaun Everington (corked calf) missed the second half of last Saturday's win over Maryborough but is expected to be fit to play the Tigers.
Steven Baker (work), Tom Dowd (hamstring) and Ben Lester (shoulder) will return to action this week.
Wilson said speedy midfielder Vinnie Flood (broken cheekbone) will resume running next week.
"Vinnie is coming along nicely, but he's still got a few weeks to go yet,'' Wilson added.