Tests have cleared Western Bulldogs midfielder Tom Liberatore of internal injuries after his heavy hit in the AFL win over Richmond.
Liberatore spent the night in hospital and has sore ribs, but the Bulldogs confirmed on Twitter that scans showed he has no internal damage.
Tigers opponent Jayden Short cannoned into Liberatore’s back as they went for a mark in the second term.
The Bulldog left the field immediately and his Brownlow Medal-winning father Tony soon visited him in the dressing rooms.
Liberatore was then taken by ambulance to hospital.
It is unclear whether the tough onballer will miss any games because of his rib injury.
A knee reconstruction put Liberatore out of action for all of last season.
His latest injury was typical of a tough night for the Bulldogs, who had to withstand a determined challenge from the Tigers before winning by 10 points.
“I don’t think it gets much uglier … it was a tough one to sit through,” Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said.
The coach dragged star forward Jake Stringer in the third term and the old-school tactic worked.
Stringer redeemed his night by returning to the game and kicking four goals in a match-winning performance.
“I don’t do that very often, it’s a bit of olden-day stuff, really,” Beveridge said.
“I sat on the bench a lot when I played, more because the coach was frightened to put me on than getting dragged.
“But he did, he responded quite emphatically.”
Marcus Bontempelli also had a massive last term, where the lead changed five times, while Dale Morris and Easton Wood were outstanding in defence.
Beveridge said Jack Redpath’s brain fade in the last term, when he played on and botched a straight-forward shot on goal, was one of a string of incidents from the Bulldogs that left the coach scratching his head.
“When it starts to compound, you think ‘are we going to come out of this?’,” Beveridge said of their many mistakes.
“We were playing at a speed that was maybe a little bit too ballistic and we weren’t able to marry our decision-making and our skills with the speed we were playing.
“Hopefully there’s a real positive to come out of (the win) – we’ll learn from that and find a way to put the ‘governor’ on and just temper the speed we’re playing a little bit more.
“We have to be a bit careful with that – it could have really cost us the game.”
Beveridge remains unsure when key forward Tom Boyd, who is serving a club suspension, will return to the senior team.