Key duo in AFL grand final frame for Dogs

Key duo in AFL grand final frame for Dogs

Western Bulldogs ruckman Jordan Roughead is winning his battle to play in the AFL grand final, but defender Matt Suckling’s inclusion appears less certain.

The club remains optimistic both will be available to tackle Sydney but Suckling, who missed the preliminary final with an Achilles tendon injury, was less than convincing in a training session at Whitten Oval on Tuesday.

Suckling took part in a light 45-minute workout with a 30-strong squad then stayed behind for a further 15 minutes as he was put through his paces by fitness staff and assistant coach Rohan Smith.

It was during that extra session that he appeared to move gingerly at times and reached for the area on his lower left leg that has troubled him late in the season.

The issue has seen him miss four of the last eight games of the Bulldogs’ premiership campaign.

In his first year with the Dogs since switching from the Hawks, Suckling is in line to play in his fourth grand final.

“Suckers has been fantastic for our group since he walked in the door,” assistant coach Steven King told reporters before the session.

“The boys really rate him, he’s a great character, so we’ll give him every chance to get back.

“He’s in our best 22 when he’s fit and available, so hopefully he can prove his fitness.”

Roughead’s vision has fully returned following the nasty blow he suffered in the preliminary final win over Greater Western Sydney.

Both players must pass fitness tests at the club’s main training session on Thursday in order to play against the Swans.

“(Roughead) is going well,” King said of his recovery from an eye bleed.

“He was in today and went through the review process with the group and he’s feeling a lot better.

“He’s optimistic and the specialist is optimistic as well that he’ll recover (in time). We’ve just got to make sure that he can train and the process from there is that it doesn’t bleed again (but) he’s really positive about it.”

King said Lin Jong had pulled up well from his first game back from a fractured collarbone – a best afield performance in the VFL grand final – and will come into grand final consideration.

Tom Liberatore and Easton Wood worked out away from the main group inside the club.

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