As there is no ring expansion I'm assuming that a carbocation should not form at ester carbon as it leads to ring expansion. But is there any an exception to it? Also the hint provided along with this question says "use ethylene glycol". How does ethylene glycol help here?
Ethylene glycol is often used to make cyclic acetals; its acetals are called ethylene acetals (or ethylene ketals).This interconversion makes acetals attractive as protecting groups to prevent ketones and aldehydes from reacting with strong bases and nucleophiles
Page 861, Organic Chemistry , Eight edition , L.G.Wade
The hint is to form the dioxolane (cyclic acetal) of the ketone with ethylene glycol then reduce the ester (LiAlH4 will do this, the dioxolane will not react) and finally deprotect the ketone. The reduction can also be accomplished by hydrolysing the ester and reducing the resulting acid with borane.