Western Bulldog striker Josh Bruce suffered an injury on his return after recovering from a knee injury that injured the back of his hind thigh during Wednesday’s training session.
The Dogs believe the problem is only minor and that he is only experiencing muscle cramps, but it will be enough to prevent him from joining the VFL this week.
The injury comes just days after Bruce returned to competitive football within seconds of recovering from a knee injury last August.
Dogs take a careful approach with Bruce, who must build his physical condition before he can be considered old. Bruce played about 85 to 90 minutes for Footscray last Friday night, scoring three goals.
The left-footed, the club’s top goalkeeper last year, despite missing six games, lost much of the Dogs as a second high target to support Aaron Naughton’s spearhead. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Josh Schache and Buku Khamis have all been tried in this role without taking their place.
The Dogs will make at least two substitutions for the game with Hawthorn, with ruckman Tim English (concussion) and defender Taylor Duryea (knee) already ruled out, while Cody Weightman is under a cloud of injury after dislocating his elbow. in the victory over Greater Western. Sydney.
The Hawks have been hit hard by injuries with striker Chad Wingard (calf sprain), Sam Frost (knee) and Will Day (health and safety protocols) all out. Mitch Lewis spearhead returned from knee pain, while mid-season recruiter James Blanck will make his debut.