MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 31: Tom Hickey of the Swans is tackled by Bailey Smith of the Bulldogs during the 2022 AFL Round 03 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Sydney Swans at Marvel Stadium on March 31, 2022 In Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Both Sydney and the Western Bulldogs are counting the cost from their close contest on Thursday night. With COVID protocols and smaller list sizes already wreaking havoc in 2022, injuries are hitting harder.

Bulldogs big man Zaine Cordy will miss the standard 12 days with concussion. It's a blow that the Dogs look able to cover, with their big men beginning to gel early in the season.

While former No.1 pick Jamara Ugle-Hagan is showing positive signs, it's ruckman Tim English who's taking his game to a new level.

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With their season yet to taste success, English stepped up to have 24 disposals, eight marks and 28 hit-outs against Sydney's Tom Hickey. However, that wasn't the only blow for Hickey in his side's loss.

The Swans' disappointing loss was compounded by a suspected medial collateral ligament injury to Hickey in the third quarter. They are now sweating on the results of scans which could see the ruckman ruled out for two months.

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Having come off his best season to date in 2021, the injury to Hickey is not the first of this kind he has suffered. A history of knee injuries has hampered his career, notably battling through a posterior cruciate ligament injury last season.

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While it's a small blow to the club's season, the Swans are fortunate to have depth in this area. Having recruited Peter Ladhams from Port Adelaide, the door is now open for him to debut.

Despite battling knee tendinitis over the summer, Ladhams has overcome the issue and played VFL last week. Having shown promising signs at the Power, the stage could be set for him to have an immediate impact for the Swans.