Western Bulldogs midflelder Lin Jong has made a strong case for a stunning AFL grand final recall with a best-afield performance.
The Bulldogs medical staff might also have tricked the opposition as Jong starred for Footscray in the VFL grand final win over the Casey Scorpions.
Sunday’s game at Etihad Stadium was less than three weeks since Jong broke his collarbone in the elimination final win over West Coast.
Jong was in tears with his right arm in a sling soon after suffering the injury.
But the onballer has made a quick recovery and he won the Norm Goss Medal as best afield in Sunday’s match.
Jong broke his right collarbone against the Eagles – but curiously his left shoulder was strapped for the VFL grand final.
After Jong hit the post with a shot at goal at quarter time, opponent Lynden Dunn bumped his left shoulder and that sparked an all-in brawl.
This would not be the first time that medical staff have strapped an uninjured limb, hoping the opposition would target it instead.
Footscray coach Ashley Hansen paid tribute to Jong after their 31-point win over Casey.
“We saw in Perth how much the football club and playing in a finals series means to Lin,” Hansen said.
“For him to perform how he did today is a testament to himself.”
If Jong forces his way back into the Bulldogs’ AFL lineup, he would have the rare distinction of playing in two grand finals only six days apart.
He is among several selection headaches for the Bulldogs and Sydney ahead of next Saturday’s AFL premiership decider.
Bulldogs Jordan Roughead has an eye injury after a ball was kicked into his face during Saturday’s epic preliminary final win over the Giants.
Roughead has hyphema, or bleeding in the eye.
The Bulldogs remain confident he will recover in time for the grand final.
Will Minson and Tom Campbell, the most likely candidates to replace Roughead if he cannot play, also played for Footscray in the VFL grand final.
Former Hawthorn defender Matt Suckling, the only Bulldog who has played in an AFL grand final, missed Saturday’s match with an Achilles tendon injury.
The Swans also have three major injury considerations for the grand final.
Tall defender Aliir Aliir suffered a right knee injury just before quarter time in Friday night’s preliminary final win over Geelong.
The Swans said on Sunday that scans showed he had suffered a low-grade medial ligament strain.
They added he remains a chance to play.
Co-captain Jarrad McVeigh (calf) and Rising Star winner Callum Mills (hamstring) did not play against the Cats.
McVeigh said at a pre-game function on Friday night that he was close to being available for the preliminary final.