Western Bulldogs defender Matthew Boyd will wear a helmet for the next month as he strives to overcome a nasty ear injury in time to play in round one against Collingwood.
Boyd was injured in last Thursday night’s JLT Community Series game against Gold Coast when Suns forward Peter Wright accidentally elbowed his right ear.
Boyd's ear was torn so badly in the incident one of the Bulldogs doctors compared the injury to a dog bite.
The veteran underwent surgery last Thursday night and has seen a surgeon every second day since as he bids to be fit for round one.
"I just went back with the flight of the ball, I knew there was a contest there, but I was committed to it. 'Two-metre Peter' (Wright) was about a metre higher than me and he came straight down on my ear (with his elbow), it just sort of burst open the ear," Boyd told News Corp.
"I was a bit dazed after that, but the doctor (Gary Zimmerman) and the trainer Frankie were out there pretty quickly.
"I had a towel over my head (in the rooms) and there was a lot of blood. I was lying (down) and 'Zimmer' was talking about it and saying it looked like a dog bite, and I was like, 'I can hear you. I am not deaf'."
"It was throbbing. It felt like it was hanging (off), even though it probably wasn't."
Boyd wore a rugby union helmet, which covers a player's ears, for the first time on Wednesday, and is expected to wear it for at least the next month.
"I'm fine to wear it ... if the difference of wearing it and not wearing it is potentially losing the top half of your ear," he said.
"We've got CD (Caleb Daniel), who is a little jet, in his helmet. The boys had a bit of a laugh about it, but I've tried it out now and feel fine."
Boyd is coming off an injury-interrupted pre-season that saw him miss the Bulldogs' first two JLT Community Series games with knee soreness.
After playing three quarters against Gold Coast, Boyd is hopeful he will be ready to take on the Magpies next Friday night.
"I am training like I will play (in round one)," Boyd said.
"I had a couple of days on light duties, but I've trained (on Wednesday) and I will train again on Friday.
"Because (the injury) is all cartilage, it is going to be sensitive for a while. I can't sleep on my side yet and can't roll over on it. I have to wear a bit of a headband to go to bed.
"It's nothing major, just a bit of a flesh wound."