Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says he has a long list of players ready to step up and play against Richmond on Friday night in the wake of injuries to Lin Jong, Josh Dunkley and Tim English in the win over GWS Giants.
No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan is waiting in the wings following his five-goal haul in the VFL on Thursday night, but Beveridge said the young gun was just one of a number of players on the fringe.
No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan in a VFL scratch match.Credit:Getty Images
Patrick Lipinski and Rylee West also stood out in the reserves, while Mitch Wallis is also available for the blockbuster against the Tigers.
“We’ve got many boys who are knocking on the door for a taste of it,” Beveridge said post-match.
“Whether it’s first-up or they have been right on the edge of the 22 or 23 and have dealt with some disappointment, now there is an opportunity to bring some of those lads in and the players who will play next week who will come in for our injured players [might] quite possibly make us a better team.
“They are very talented young lads. Lipinski, to see what he did [on Thursday] night at reserve grade level to say, “You know what, OK, I will take that bit of bad news and go out and do this,” he set a fine example. He is one and there are others.”
Beveridge said ruckman English, who copped a knee to his jaw from teammate Aaron Naughton in a marking contest, would miss at least one week with concussion and potentially more depending on scan results, while everyone was feeling for Jong following his hamstring injury early in the 39-point win.
Jong has missed 38 games since 2017 due to two broken collarbones, a broken jaw, an ACL tear and a ruptured appendix, with Friday night’s return his first match since round five, 2020.
“He has had some bad luck, Jongy, with his hamstrings,” Beveridge said.
“He has had some high grade injuries usually through that mechanism where he has been tackled.
“I think I haven’t seen the replay, it appears as though something similar happened. It is an emotional night for him and his teammates. When things like that happen in games, that connection to the boys relationship-wise, you are not sure how that is going to effect them.
“Again that just accentuates the outcome in the end, how enormous it was.”
Dogs midfielder Adam Treloar said he was feeling too for Dunkley, who would have scans during the week after injuring his shoulder in the closing stages of Friday night’s win.
“He was the first guy that I ran to after the game because I love the guy,” the former Magpie said.
“I was there when the contest happened and I knew it wasn’t good.
“He is obviously disappointed. He doesn’t know the full extent of what it is. No doubt he will get some scans and see where it is at early in the week. I guess that they will go from there.”
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