SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Aaron Naughton of the Bulldogs is seen injured during the 2019 AFL Second Elimination Final match between the GWS Giants and the Western Bulldogs at Giants Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Western Bulldogs forward Aaron Naughton has been cleared of a ruptured ACL, with scans revealing lateral collateral ligament damage.

There were fears for the worst after the youngster landed awkwardly in the third quarter of his side’s elimination final loss to GWS on Saturday and missed the rest of the game.

The lateral injury could still see him miss the start of the club’s pre-season.

The Bulldogs released the following statement on the club website:

“Western Bulldogs forward Aaron Naughton has avoided damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

“However, scans today confirmed some damage to his lateral ligament, after he landed awkwardly in the third quarter of the Bulldogs’ elimination final against the GWS Giants.

“Naughton will consult with a specialist in the coming days to help determine his best course of management and rehabilitation plan.”