Lin Jong will be missing but coach Luke Beveridge says there are more than enough returning Bulldogs to make selection a challenge for this weekend’s AFL match with Collingwood.
Injured pair Marcus Adams and Matt Suckling will contend for Sunday’s match while Jack Redpath and Matthew Boyd are back in the frame after one-week bans.
Jong will watch the MCG match and a further home game with West Coast from the stands after the Bulldogs opted against contesting his ban for making front-on contact with GWS defender Matt Buntine.
Beveridge said it was “just too risky” to contest the report given the stakes and the difficulties of overturning reports at the tribunal.
“Lin’s a hard player and he goes the ball,” he said.
“From time to time players are going to be in the way with their heads down … we take that and move on.”
Suckling (ankle) and Adams (finger) are ahead of their scheduled return to football.
The veteran and rookie helped form a high-perfoming defence that powered to a 4-1 start to the season.
Without Suckling, the Bulldogs have gone 2-2 and Beveridge said he was eager to have the two-time flag-winner at his disposal once more.
“He’s an extension of the coaches … his teammates leverage off his good play and his leadership,” he said.
“Matty’s form earlier in the year was very good for us and we think Marcus might be available as well.
“Because it’s a finger he’s been about to maintain his conditioning … he’s comfortable with it. He’s had the pin taken out and seems like he’ll be ready to go.
“If he’s right and well within himself he’ll be picked.”
Beveridge was impressed with Collingwood’s ability to right their ship over the past fortnight with a blow-out win over Brisbane and a defeat of flag favourites Geelong.
But he said the once white-hot rivalry between the Dogs and Pies had simmered somewhat in recent years.
“Week to week, our players see the opposition as in their way to where we want to go,” he said, “whether it’s Collingwood or GWS or whoever.
“I don’t think our senses are heightened to any significant degree just because it’s Collingwood.”