Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge admits his club’s shocking recent run of injuries has taken the wind out his side’s sails as they enter the run home to the finals.
A week after the Dogs lost Mitch Wallis and Jack Redpath to long-term injuries in an upset loss to St Kilda, Tom Liberatore (ankle) and Jack Macrae (hamstring) were unable to finish Friday night’s 25-point loss to Geelong.
“What can you do? It’s hard to laugh because you’re disappointed for the boys who have gone down injured but if you don’t laugh you probably cry,” Beveridge said.
“We think we can pull it together and at some point start winning again and hopefully get (to finals) and give ourselves a sniff.
“But a little bit of wind has gone out of our sails.”
The Dogs’ lengthy injury list already included long-term absentee Bob Murphy and other key players such as Matt Suckling, Matthew Boyd, Dale Morris, Tom Campbell and Marcus Adams before the clash against the Cats.
Despite those absentees, the brave Bulldogs dominated larges patches of the contest at Simonds Stadium before the losses of Liberatore, in the second quarter, and Macrae, in the third, started to have an effect.
Liberatore cut a disconsolate figure as he slowly made his way to the Dogs’ bench after halftime on crutches, his left ankle in a protective moon boot.
The Dogs have just four games left to try to reinvigorate their faltering campaign, but Beveridge said it was too early to rule Liberatore out for the rest of the season.
“We think it’s one of those syndesmosis (high ankle sprain) injuries that can keep you out for a little while, but there are different levels so he’s still a chance to be with us,” Beveridge said.
“We just need to scan it and see what it comes up with.”