Marcus Bontempelli will have to pass a fitness test to play for the Bulldogs against Brisbane.Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli has until Thursday afternoon to prove he is fit to take on Brisbane.
Bontempelli is battling a hip injury and was a late withdrawal from the side that defeated Gold Coast in Ballarat last week.
Luke Beveridge admitted he didn’t know whether Bontempelli would be fit for Saturday night’s clash at Etihad Stadium when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday.
But the premiership coach will know one way or the other by the end of Thursday’s training session.
“He’s a chance … we’ll see how he goes and pick him if he comes up on Thursday,” Beveridge said.
“But he got through training last week and was sore afterwards.
“We gave him until early morning Friday to let us know (but) we won’t go that far (this time) … we just won’t pick him if he can’t train on Thursday.”
Bontempelli has carried the issue for several weeks, but the Bulldogs remain hopeful he won’t need more than one game off to recover completely.
“He aggravated a tendon a little while ago and he got a knock on it in a game a little earlier in the year,” Beveridge said.
“He was compromised in WA (against Fremantle in round five), then he was able to shake it off and play pretty well against Carlton but then it flared up again.
“He’s had a little bit of (pain) but the week off has hopefully given him some respite.”
The Dogs managed just one win from their first five matches this season, but improved to 14th with back-to-back wins in the past fortnight.
A lengthy injury list has been a factor, with skipper Easton Wood (hamstring), Marcus Adams (ankle), Tory Dickson (hamstring), Tom Liberatore (knee) and Clay Smith (knee) among the key casualties.
Dale Morris is yet to feature this season due to a partial anterior cruciate ligament tear, but there is good news on that front with the veteran defender cleared to return to full training.
“I think the good thing is with the injury he’s been able to stay active and run,” Beveridge said.
“He probably hasn’t used the footy as much as he’d like yet but over the course of the next two weeks we’ll ramp that up and then he’ll be available the week after this.
“He’s not back to his total capacity and capability yet but hopefully over the next two weeks he builds confidence with the Sherrins and he can go into his first game full of confidence.”