Star midfielder Josh Dunkley says he’s staying positive, despite knowing he’ll miss this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash against Melbourne while in home quarantine.
On Sunday, Dunkley learnt he had visited a Tier 1 COVID exposure site – his local café – and per government health guidelines would need to isolate at home for 14 days.
Having just returned to football against Gold Coast after overcoming a shoulder reconstruction, the 24-year-old couldn’t believe the news.
“As players we’re always keeping an eye out for certain things, and there hadn’t been any COVID around this area where I live for quite a while, or any at all, so to be exposed to a Tier 1 exposure site – it shocked me really,” Dunkley told westernbulldogs.com.au.
“To be out of the team this week and not be able to play is pretty sad and pretty hard for me, but I think I’ve tried to turn it into a positive and use the (home gym) set-up that I’ve got and hopefully come back out on the other side fitter and stronger.
“It’s obviously a difficult situation to be in, but I think I’ve been dealing with it pretty well so far - I'm pretty fortunate to have my set-up so it’s been okay.
“I’ve just been trying to mirror what the boys are doing at the club, and trying to do that at home, but obviously I’d love to be involved at the footy club.”
Dunkley is thankful he’ll have the opportunity to remain involved, albeit remotely, in the lead-up to Saturday’s game.
“I’ve spoken to Bevo a couple of times – he’s tried to keep me involved quite a bit, and a lot of the boys have reached out too,” he said.
“I haven’t been in any meetings as yet, but know I’m going to be involved in some in a few days in the lead-up to the Melbourne game, and then obviously the review and other stuff next week.
“I won’t miss too much – it’s probably just more from last week’s game – but I had a phone call conversation with Bevo about my game and things like that, so what I would normally do at the footy club is just over the phone and remote.”
Dunkley will emerge from quarantine next week, with the hopes of putting his hand up for selection in round 20.