The Western Bulldogs are hopeful important forwards Aaron Naughton and Mitch Wallis will be available to face St Kilda in next Saturday’s elimination final at The Gabba.
Both sustained injuries in Sunday’s win against Fremantle in Cairns but remain in the frame to take on the Saints.
And in more positive news, Laitham Vandermeer and Matt Suckling could also be available for the do-or-die final.
Wallis (24 goals) and Naughton (14) are the side’s leading goal-kickers in 2020.
“In the second quarter, Aaron sustained a depressed cheekbone fracture. This did require surgery, which was completed yesterday,” medical services manager, Chris Bell, said.
“All went as well as we could have hoped and we remain optimistic that Aaron is going to take the field in the first final.
“Mitch was involved in a contest where he jarred his shoulder. He was sore following the game but has made significant improvements in the last few days.
“We’re working through a process with Mitch but remain confident he’ll play in the first final.”
Vandermeer sustained a moderate grade hamstring injury early in the round 14 game against Geelong, while a minor hamstring injury saw Suckling ruled out last week against the Dockers.
“Matt and Laitham are progressing ahead of schedule following their hamstring injuries,” Bell said.
“Both have completed substantial rehab running and football sessions and are in-line to re-integrate back into training this week.
“They will look to tick some final boxes next week, trying to prove their fitness for the first final.”
Key forward Josh Schache (1-3 weeks) continues his return from some Achilles tendon soreness, while young gun Cody Weightman has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after an ankle injury in Monday’s scratch match.
Aaron Naughton (cheek) – test
Matt Suckling (hamstring) – test
Laitham Vandermeer (hamstring) – test
Mitch Wallis (shoulder) – test
Josh Schache (Achilles) – 1-3 weeks
Lin Jong (ankle) – season
Toby McLean (knee) – season
Callum Porter (groin) – season
Cody Weightman (ankle) – season
Rhylee West (groin) – season