The Western Bulldogs are expected to be without premiership defender Dale Morris for around two months after the veteran suffered a spiral fracture in his leg in the dying seconds of Friday night’s win over Collingwood.
While the Dogs are yet to confirm the nature of Morris’ injury, it’s understood the fracture is likely to keep him out of action for between eight and ten weeks.
Spiral fractures occur where a bone is torn apart in a twisting motion. They often occur when the body is in motion while one extremity is planted, as happened when Morris’ right leg was hurt when bumped by Magpie Will Hoskin-Elliott.
He had been hopeful of good news when emerging from scans on Saturday. “Whatever happens happens, you can’t do much about it,” he said.
Morris, 34, played a key role in last year’s grand final win over Sydney, and is renowned for his resilience. He came back from a devastating break in his tibia that occurred late in 2011, while he played out last season with what later emerged as a broken back.
It is a further setback for the Dogs in their premiership defence, with ruckman Jordan Roughead sidelined for a few more weeks after a knee injury suffered against Melbourne in a JLT Community series match last month.
The Dogs are also awaiting the returns of midfielder Mitch Wallis and key forward Jack Redpath, who broke a leg and suffered an ACL tear respectively in the same match against St Kilda last July.
The Bulldogs ended their 62-year premiership drought despite being ravaged by injuries at various stages last year, most notably the season-ending ACL tear to captain Bob Murphy in the round three loss to Hawthorn. Murphy returned strongly to senior football against the Pies.
The Dogs have a grand final re-match this Friday night against the Swans at Etihad Stadium.