The Western Bulldogs will be forced into making at least one change this week, with courageous defender Hayden Crozier ruled out.
Crozier – who has been among the Bulldogs’ most consistent performers in 2020 – suffered a toe injury early on in Monday night’s game against Port Adelaide and is expected to miss up to three weeks of football.
However, the impact of that loss could be softened by a significant addition at the other end of the ground, with Aaron Naughton in the frame to return against the Brisbane Lions.
“In the first quarter of the game (against Port Adelaide), Hayden sustained a strain to one of the ligaments in his big toe,” medical services manager, Chris Bell, said.
“We will allow this ligament to heal over the coming weeks, but expect him to miss the next 2-3 games.
“In some great news, Aaron has continued to build continuity in his training.
“He still has to tick some final boxes before we declare him available, but we’ll see him return this weekend against Brisbane or next week against Adelaide.”
Bailey Dale (ankle), Tory Dickson (quad) and Callum Porter (shoulder) will all be available for selection after overcoming their respective injuries.
However, key forward Josh Schache will remain on the injury list, with some groin troubles following his return to training after a concussion.
“Over the last week, Josh has developed some groin overload-type symptoms,” Bell said.
“We want to be conservative and allow these symptoms to settle, so Josh won’t play this week. We’re continuing to work through Josh’s plan and will confirm his availability over the coming days.”
Bailey Dale (ankle) – available
Tory Dickson (quad) – available
Callum Porter (shoulder) – available
Aaron Naughton (ankle) – test
Hayden Crozier (toe) – 2-3 weeks
Josh Schache (groin) – 2-3 weeks
Taylor Duryea (quad) – 3-4 weeks
Lin Jong (ankle) – 3-4 weeks
Matt Suckling (hamstring) – 3-4 weeks