Bulldogs fear the worst for injured defender Easton Wood

The Western Bulldogs fear they may have lost stand-in captain Easton Wood for the rest of their season.
Nanjing Night Net

Wood injured his ankle during the third quarter of the Bulldogs’ 40-point win over Essendon, with coach Luke Beveridge pessimistic about what scans taken on Sunday night would show.

The Bulldogs are already missing Bob Murphy, Dale Morris, Matt Suckling and Marcus Adams from their first-choice backline.

Morris should return for the Dogs’ round 23 game against Fremantle, with Suckling also some chance to play.

“I don’t think it’s too flash,” Beveridge said of Wood.

“I can’t give you a diagnosis. He’s gone off to hospital for some scans and we’ll know a bit more tomorrow.

“He seemed to put a little bit of weight on it but the forecast isn’t great, unfortunately.

“Whether Easton is done for the year, I don’t know.

“Hopefully it’s not too bad and even if we lose him for a week or two hopefully we can go deep and a bit deeper and he may be able to rejoin us.”

The Bulldogs will consider recalling Jake Stringer for the Fremantle game, after a positive display in the VFL impressed his coach.

Stringer had 21 possessions, kicked a goal and laid nine tackles after being told last Tuesday that he would likely be dropped from the senior team.

“Jakey really applied himself. He had an impact,” Beveridge said.

“He had an impact on the game, so we’ll work through selection this week. Obviously it will crystalise on Thursday in match committee and we’ll finalise things then.

“The important thing is with the regulation of the 22 picked at AFL level, it is picked on its merits week to week and Jake will come back into our AFL team.

“Whether it’s next week or the week after, who knows, but there’s certain standards that his teammates have set, and expectations with his teammates and his coaches.

“He’ll come up to that pretty quickly and when he does we’ll consider him for the 22.”

Beveridge said the team’s long list of injuries – Jack Redpath, Jack Macrae, Tom Liberatore and Mitch Wallis are also out of the side – meant the team had needed to change the way it played and could not be measured against things it had done earlier in the season.

“I got asked before the game about how their contested ball’s dropped off, and how this has changed,” Beveridge said.

“Our whole KPI outcomes have evolved based on our playing group and who plays.

“We can get caught up in scoring and not scoring but ultimately we’ve beaten some of the highest scoring sides over the last 10 rounds.

“All that matters to us is that we’re on front at the scoreboard at the end of it.

Whether we can do that in the future, who knows, but to this point they’ve just been sensational.”

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