Key forward Aaron Naughton will play in the Western Bulldogs’ elimination final against St Kilda next Saturday, says senior coach Luke Beveridge.
The Bulldogs’ boss dispelled any doubt around the rising star’s availability, after he had surgery to repair a depressed cheekbone fracture earlier this week.
"'Naughts' will be fine to play,” Beveridge told media on the Gold Coast today.
“He's a bit out of sync now because he had the surgery but he'll train with the group on Monday and have a week together with the whole squad.”
In a further boost for the Bulldogs, Beveridge said leading goalkicker Mitch Wallis was “almost a certainty” to play the Saints.
“Mitch will train today,” Beveridge said.
“With this one, it’s a bit of an instability thing. As we know, Mitch is a powerful, strong player and athlete.
“It’s an important ingredient in what he does, that he’s got that upper body strength. He’s pretty upbeat about how he’s feeling and the boys will tape him up a little bit.
“He’ll go through a series of little tests for himself – not necessarily to tick off something to play, but just so he’s got peace of mind.”