Western Bulldogs midfielder Lin Jong could return from a broken collarbone as early as this week, just a fortnight after sustaining the injury in the elimination final against West Coast at Domain Stadium.
Jong had underwent surgery on the injury just days after the match and coach Luke Beveridge said he has trained strongly this week and will be in the mix for a shock return.
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“We could go in with an unchanged line-up. Although Lin Jong has come up really well. He’ll train today and be considered if he’s right,” Beveridge told reporters on Thursday morning.
The Bulldogs have the VFL grand final this weekend, meaning, if fit, the more likely scenario would see Jong return via the reserves in an attempt to return for the grand final should the Dogs defeat the Giants in the preliminary final on Saturday evening at Spotless Stadium.
“He’s trained really solidly over the last week,” Bulldogs’ VFL coach Ashley Hansen said on SEN radio.
“He’s a really resilient character. Clearly through his emotion, we saw how much the game and the club mean to him.
“I’m sure he’s going to be doing everything in his power to put his hands up, literally, to play.
“We have a training run this morning and if he gets through that, match committee will meet and will certainly be discussing his availability because he’s such a powerful and influential player in our team.”
Footscray Bulldogs play the Casey Scorpions at Etihad Stadium in the VFL decider on Sunday afternoon.