Naitanui faces 12 months on sidelines
STAR ruckman Nic Naitanui could miss another 12 months of football if West Coast's worst fears are realised on Monday.
Naitanui went down during the Eagles' big win over the Pies at the MCG on Sunday and will have scans on his "good knee" on Monday to determine the extent of the damage.
The towering athlete missed the entire 2017 season after rupturing the ACL in his left leg in 2016.
"Naitanui will undergo scans this morning after injuring his right knee against Collingwood yesterday," the Eagles said in a statement released Monday morning.
"The club will provide details once scan results are known, but until that time there will be no comment made."
Melbourne co-captain Jack Viney will miss at least a month after scans revealed early signs of a stress fracture in his toe.
Port Adelaide will be hoping goal machine Robbie Gray recovers quickly from the driving tackle that put him out of the game in Port's demoralising loss to the Dockers.
Tragedy struck in the VFL, with Geelong speedster Nakia Cockatoo hurting his knee in his return match and North Melbourne youngster Sam Durdin breaking his leg.
SEE EVERY CLUB'S INJURY LIST AND NEWS BELOW:
Daniel Talia (foot) test
Richard Douglas (ankle) test
Brad Crouch (groin) season
Harry Dear (knee) 1 week
Jackson Edwards (ankle) 1-2 weeks
Cam Ellis-Yolmen (quad) test
Elliott Himmelberg (calf) test
Paul Hunter (ankle) test
David Mackay (ribs) 1-2 weeks
Mitch McGovern (ankle) test
Andrew McPherson (hamstring) indefinite
Reilly O'Brien (shoulder) season
Andy Otten (Achilles) test
Brodie Smith (knee) 2-3 weeks
ON THE BLOCK: Out goes captain Taylor Walker - with a one-match ban - for his very poorly timed challenge in a marking contest with a high hit to Geelong defender Zach Tuohy in the first term of Thursday night's clash at Adelaide Oval. This change to the Adelaide attack is not too difficult to resolve now that the Crows have Tom Lynch back in action and can again work a Josh Jenkins tandem with first-year forward Darcy Fogarty while Eddie Betts creates some havoc at the goal square. More concerning for Adelaide is the need to have key defender Daniel Talia overcome his foot injury. And if he does, who gets the chop - Kyle Hartigan or cricket convert Alex Keath. If form counts, Keath would get a second game ahead of Hartigan.
ON THE CUSP: Adelaide's yoyo forward, Darcy Fogarty, comes back to the AFL to cover suspended captain Taylor Walker. There is still the question of what does Adelaide do with halfback Brodie Smith as he continues a solid recovery from the serious knee injury he suffered in last year's finals.
MICHELANGELO RUCCI'S FORECAST: Adelaide gave itself new hope with the 15-point win against Geelong on Thursday night to equal its win-loss count at 8-8. However, the Crows are still 11th - and still troubled by an inferior percentage (98.7). The Crows can hardly consider playing Brisbane at the Gabba as a percentage-boosting opportunity when the Lions are filled with confidence from a three-game winning streak. Adelaide has a six-game winning streak against the Lions - and no loss at the Gabba since the Crows' last defeat to Brisbane in 2012.
Harris Andrews (concussion) TBC
Charlie Cameron (ankle) season
Matt Eagles (abnominals) season
Marco Paparone (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Jack Payne (shin) season
ON THE BLOCK: Darcy Gardiner may be in strife for an of the ball incident. Cedric Cox was a late replacement for Luke Hodge into the side that defeated Hawthorn by 33 points in Launceston on Saturday. Although he showed some flashes of his exceptional skills, he would be the first in line to make way for the veteran should he be available to return against the Crows at the Gabba on Saturday. Prior to Hodge's withdrawal, the Lions had been changed for three weeks which suggests coach Chris Fagan is happy to continue to reward winning form.
ON THE CUSP: Hodge is the obvious in should he train fully this week. The Lions' NEAFL side were upset victors over Sydney Uni and the best performer was last year's third round draft selection Toby Wooller, a tall mid-half forward, who played his best game. The other good players were the usual suspects who dominate at that level, such as Jacob Allison, Ben Keays and Ryan Bastinac.
ANDREW HAMILTON'S FORECAST: The Lions are on a high after three wins on the trot and a break through victory over the Hawks in Tasmania. One thing is for sure, they will believe they can beat the Crows. Not that long ago such belief would have seemed like foolish optimism, but no longer. If they are close at half time they can claim another huge scalp. The start is critical.
Matthew Kreuzer (heart) TBC
Andrew Phillips (hamstring) season
Jacob Weitering (calf) TBC
David Cunningham (hamstring) 4-6 weeks
Jesse Glass-McCasker (knee) 3-4 weeks
Tom De Koning (ankle) test
Sam Docherty (knee) season
Sam Kerridge (groin) test
Kym LeBois (knee) test
Harrison Macreadie (hamstring) test
Lachie Plowman (knee) season
Angus Schumacher (groin) test
Alex Silvagni (Achilles) season
Tom Williamson (back) season
ON THE BLOCK: Expect more than a few changes given the Blues' substandard effort on Friday night. All eyes will be on ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, who will undergo a series of cardiology tests this week after being ruled out of last week's game early with an elevated heart rate. The Blues are very hopeful he should be right, just as Caleb Marchbank proved to be the previous week.
ON THE CUSP: Nine senior-listed players were a part of the Northern Blues' loss to Williamstown on Sunday, pushing to try and win a recall. With Phillips gone for the year and now Kreuzer in doubt, does Matthew Lobbe finally get a crack for the Blues?
GLENN McFARLANE'S FORECAST: What's rock bottom look like? Chances are we saw it for the Blues on Friday night and it won't get any easier next Sunday when Brendon Bolton's boys will take on a still smarting Hawthorn, after their shock loss to Brisbane. Aspirationally, Bolton says Carlton want to be defined by pressure, but they are a million miles away from it at the moment. The Blues have got a hell of lot of work to do, especially with their skill levels and their ability to score. Hard to see them winning a game again this season.
Flynn Appleby (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Tim Broomhead (broken leg) season
Mason Cox (hamstring) test
Lynden Dunn (knee) season
Tyson Goldsack (knee) 5-9 weeks
Kayle Kirby (heart issue) indefinite
Tom Langdon (knee) test
Darcy Moore (dislocated finger) TBC
Ben Reid (knees/calf) 1-2 weeks
Brayden Sier (corked quad) test
Adam Treloar (hamstrings) 5-6 weeks
Daniel Wells (foot) season
Rupert Wills (hamstring) Test
ON THE BLOCK: BRAYDEN Sier finished the West Coast game sore although coach Nathan Buckley said it was just a corkie. The Magpies emerged unscathed.
ON THE CUSP: ALEX Fasolo, Jarryd Blair and James Aish all got through Thursday night's intra-club hitout. The Magpies are set to drip feed in a suite of handy names in the run home, while Mason Cox should also return this week.
SAM LANDSBERGER'S FORECAST: THE Magpies banked all the wins they were meant to and so Sunday's loss to West Coast wasn't disastrous. A testing month ahead with North Melbourne, Richmond and Sydney (SCG) should give a clear understanding as to where this team sits. Is it top-four worthy? Win two of those three and the double chance should be theirs. Maybe Bucks needs to let the facial hairs flow again.
Patrick Ambrose (hamstring) season
Josh Begley (knee) season
Joe Daniher (groin) indefinite
Martin Gleeson (ankle) 6-7 weeks
Mason Redman (ankle) 4-5 weeks
Jake Stringer (calf) 3 weeks
David Zaharakis (shoulder) 2-3 weeks
Orazio Fantasia (groin) test
ON THE BLOCK: Ben McNeice only got a handful of touches, while Travis Colyer and Jake Long played bit-part roles.
ON THE CUSP: Late-withdrawal Orazio Fantasia will be monitored during the week after sitting out the cruizy win over Gold Coast. The goal sneak is expected to play this week. Jayden Laverde and James Stewart could be hard to hold out despite Essendon's heart-stopping one-point VFL loss to Richmond.
GILBERT GARDINER'S FORECAST: Essendon should have no problem accounting for Fremantle under the roof at Etihad Stadium to keep their finals hopes alive ahead of a Friday night blockbuster against Sydney. Must win, no ifs, buts or maybes.
Hayden Ballantyne (ankle) 1-2 weeks
Connor Blakely (knee) season
Andrew Brayshaw (groin) 2 weeks
Nat Fyfe (hamstring) 3 weeks
Griffin Logue (ankle) 2 weeks
Tom North (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Aaron Sandilands (calf) 1-2 weeks
Lee Spurr (knee) TBC
Matt Taberner (foot) 2 weeks
ON THE BLOCK: The Dockers will be sweating on the fitness of ruckman Sean Darcy, who exited the win over Port Adelaide late after hitting the deck in a contest. Ryan Nyhuis is facing a stint on the sidelines, with the Match Review Officer likely to frown on the youngster's tackle that concussed Robbie Gray in the third term.
ON THE CUSP: Aaron Sandilands (calf) is nearing a return but this week may be a fraction too soon, and with Michael Apeness (hamstring) yesterday ruled out for the season, the Dockers may look to Luke Strnadica for a potential debut against Essendon. Harley Bennell had 19 touches and a goal for WAFL affiliate Peel on the weekend and edges closer to a senior recall.
CHRIS ROBINSON'S FORECAST: Ross Lyon's side escaped the doom and gloom of consecutive 50-point losses with a stunning upset of flag contenders Port. The task gets no easier with a road trip and six-day break to face the Bombers, but Freo will have little to lose as they look to become giant-killers in the run to September.
Nakia Cockatoo (knee) TBC
Aaron Black (knee) season
Harry Taylor (soreness) test
Esava Ratugolea (broken ankle) 6-8 weeks
Mark O'Connor (back) TBC
ON THE BLOCK: Quite a few Cats had off nights against the Crows. Was it the slippery conditions or could they not handle the heat? Small forwards Sam Simpson and Jamaine Jones brought pressure but struggled to get their hands on the footy, while Wylie Buzza had a forgettable evening and might struggle to retain his spot.
ON THE CUSP: All eyes were on the Cats' VFL side with a number of big names lining up at the lower level. Lachie Henderson has played a few now and could be nearing a return. Cory Gregson stepped out, while George Horlin-Smith and Jordan Murdoch are always knocking on the door. Nakia Cockatoo returned for his first hitout but lasted just a few minutes in a huge blow for the man many at the Cattery rate so highly.
BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: A disappointing night for the Cats in Adelaide, who started well before Tom Hawkins' early miss from straight in front allowed the Crows back in it. Geelong showed its trademark fight but the home side was possessed. This week it's the Cats who need to show similar pluck against a Melbourne outfit that is not only fighting for its September berth, but could also still be smarting from its Round 1 loss to Chris Scott's men. The Cats will start favourite in what shapes as another crucial clash, with the likes of Hawthorn and Richmond waiting in coming weeks.
Steven May (hip) test
Michael Barlow (jaw) TBC
Jack Bowes (quad) test
Sam Day (shoulder) TBC
Brayden Fiorini (leg) test
Aaron Hall (pectoral) season
Pearce Hanley (shoulder) test
Tom Lynch (knee) season
Darcy MacPherson (broken leg) 2-4 weeks
Tom Nicholls (shoulder) 4-6 weeks
Matt Rosa (hamstring) test
Harrison Wigg (ankle) season
Mackenzie Willis (knee) season
ON THE BLOCK: Steven May has aggravated his troublesome hip injury again and will face a fitness test this week. The Suns have made a habit of resting their first and second year players and Charlie Ballard has not missed since his debut in Rd 7 in Ballarat. But on form he is in the side. Jesse Joyce has had a couple of quiet weeks but probably has an important role to play against Sydney's small and fast forwards. The same applies to Jarryd Lyons, whose form has dipped but could be needed against the Swans' big bodied mids.
ON THE CUSP: Kade Kolodjashnij has had two very good weeks in the NEAFL now after his return from concussion and would be a legitimate contender for a recall. Ben Ainsworth faces a fitness test after missing two weeks with a leg injury. Brayden Fiorini and Pearce Hanley made solid returns in the NEAFL but are expected to need another week. Michael Barlow had 44 disposals in the twos but appears to have had his card marked.
ANDREW HAMILTON'S FORECAST: It is hard to make a case for the Suns against the Swans in Sydney. Although they had a crack in the first half against Essendon the effort dropped away after that and the Bombers were comfortable winners. Coach Stuart Dew would be desperate for his side to put in a brave showing against the club where he served his coaching apprenticeship and that is probably all he can hope for.
Daniel Lloyd (knee) test
Jon Patton (knee) season
Tom Scully (ankle) 5 weeks
Will Setterfield (knee) season
Lachie Tiziani (knee) season
Harry Perryman (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Zac Williams (Achilles) TBC
Jeremy Cameron (suspended) 2 weeks
ON THE CUSP: Brett Deledio played well in the Giants NEAFL win over Gold Coast and will come into serious consideration for the trip to Adelaide to take on Port.
ON THE BLOCK: Brent Daniels worked hard and applied plenty of pressure in the win over Richmond but will come under pressure from Deledio to hold his spot.
NEIL CORDY'S FORECAST: The Giants have won five of their last six outings including wins over the premiership favourites Richmond and Hawthorn in the last three weeks. They will travel to Adelaide Oval full of confidence to get the job done and will be boosted by the return of Deledio and Toby Greene with some match practice now under his belt.
Ben McEvoy (cheekbone) 5 weeks
Grant Birchall (knee) 3 weeks
Shaun Burgoyne (hamstring) 2 weeks
James Cousins (adductor) test
Will Langford (finger) TBC
ON THE CUSP: In the VFL, the Box Hill Hawks recorded a 43-point victory with James Worpel starring again. Worpel amassed 34 disposals as he puts together a consistent patch of form in the twos. Up forward, Mitch Lewis (three goals) and Ryan Schoenmakers (two goals and 21 disposals) both put their hand up with impressive performances.
ON THE BLOCK: Hawthorn managed just nine goals in its 33-point loss to Brisbane on Saturday, with Taylor Duryea's position in the side surely under the spot light. The two-time premiership player has made a move forward this season, and although he kicked his first goal of the season on the weekend, his output has been minimal. Teia Miles (16 disposals) and Harry Morrison (14 disposals) failed to have a major impact, while the 193cm Tim O'Brien failed to take a mark.
BEN GIBSON'S FORECAST: The Hawks disastrous result against the Lions has put them on the back foot, sitting in 10th position on the ladder with six rounds to go. They should have a comfortable win over Carlton on Sunday, but Alastair Clarkson will want to make a statement after his side's lacklustre attempt in Tasmania. The Hawks may look to recall Lewis or Schoenmakers to provide a target inside 50 with skipper Jarryd Roughead requiring assistance.
Jack Viney (toe) 4 weeks
Jayden Hunt (ankle) 3 weeks
Jake Lever (knee) season
Corey Maynard (hip) season
ON THE BLOCK: A solid performance, albeit powered by the second half, by everyone at Melbourne in the 50-point hiding of Western Bulldogs. Some early danger signs around pressure and attack on the contest but after halftime the Dees were unstoppable behind midfield maestro Max Gawn. No changes. Losing co-captain Jack Viney pre-game a major blow for the Dees, who must now take an ultra conservative approach to remedy the ball magnet's toe.
ON THE CUSP: Sam Weideman booted four goals in the hard-fought VFL win over Footscray, while forgotten midfielder Dom Tyson was among Casey's best performers.
GILBERT GARDINER'S FORECAST: The testing material. Have beaten up on stragglers this season - and been stunned for that matter - but Geelong in Geelong will give us a very good indication of how good this lot is and could be. Stars on the rise Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw will need to find another gear to combat Geelong's Big Three, while Jesse Hogan and Tom McDonald could have their hands full against one of the tightest defensive lines in the business.
Sam Durdin (broken leg) season
Ben Jacobs (concussion) test
Taylor Garner (hamstring) 3-4 weeks
Billy Hartung (hamstring) 3-4 weeks
Declan Mountford (hamstring) test
Ed Vickers-Willis (knee) season
Jarrad Waite (calf) 3 weeks
Declan Watson (knee) 3 weeks
Mason Wood (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Cameron Zurhaar (ankle) 7-9 weeks
ON THE BLOCK: North Melbourne could lose touch with the eight if it falls to another defeat against third-placed Collingwood on Saturday. The Roos' run home is reasonably kind but Sunday's loss to Sydney seriously hurts their chances of making finals. It was a gutsy performance from North, but ultimately Brad Scott's men fell six points short.
ON THE CUSP: Hard nut Kayne Turner was lost to concussion in the opening minutes of Sunday's loss. He will have scans this week but will be in doubt to take on the Pies. Ben Jacobs also remains under a cloud with an ongoing neck-related concussion issue. The tagger has missed three of the past four games.
JAY CLARK'S FORECAST: North's VFL big men are in good form in the seconds but Majak Daw isn't giving up his position easily after one of the best games of his career on Sunday. Brayden Preuss continues to bang down the door and Ben McKay was best on ground in the reserves at the weekend. Jarrad Waite is also pushing to return from injury.
Patrick Ryder (hip flexor) TBC
Robbie Gray (concussion) TBC
Joe Atley (back) 1-2 weeks
Matthew Broadbent (toe stress fracture) season
Willem Drew (heel) season
Joel Garner (shoulder) season
Hamish Hartlett (knee) season
Sam Hayes (knee) season
Tom Jonas (knee) 3-5 weeks
Jake Neade (knee) TBC
ON THE BLOCK: There should be no shortage of players feeling edgy this week after the disastrous nine-point loss to Fremantle that cost Port a spot in the top four. Most of the squad was down on form with the kicking horrendous. However, injuries to key players Paddy Ryder (hip flexor) and Robbie Gray (concussion) could spare coach Ken Hinkley from making too many unforced changes. Halfback Riley Bonner also hurt his knee against the Dockers but should be fit.
ON THE CUSP: Port's SANFL team lost a three-quarter time lead to allow archrival Adelaide to win its first State League match of the season with a 10-goal to nil final term to cap off a terrible Sunday for the club. Players to shine were playmaking defender Jarrod Lienert, who is close to making his AFL debut, Jack Trengove, who was unlucky to be dropped from the Power team, and one-time regular Jasper Pittard. Former Demon Dom Barry also was solid in the 56-point loss.
ANDREW CAPEL'S FORECAST: Much will depend on the severity of Ryder's hip injury but he is almost certain to miss Sunday's home twilight clash against the suddenly in-form GWS. His ruck duties will have to be shared by key forward Charlie Dixon and swing man Justin Westhoff. Star forward/midfielder Robbie Gray will have to pass a fitness test to play. Lienert is the player Hinkley wants to have a look at and is worth taking a punt on while his best defender Tom Jonas is out with a knee injury.
Jack Graham (shoulder) 3-5 weeks
Dan Butler (ankle) 2-3 weeks
Nathan Broad (cheekbone) 2-3 weeks
Mabior Chol (broken foot) 2-4 weeks
Reece Conca (ankle) 4-5 weeks
Nathan Drummond (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Oleg Markov (knee) 1 week
Anthony Miles (concussion) test
ON THE CUSP: The Tigers VFL side is flying, sitting atop of the ladder, fresh off an 85-point win over North Melbourne. Tyson Stengle was the star of the show on Saturday slotting six goals, while premiership star Jacob Townsend kicked two. Sam Lloyd continues to dominate at VFL level with 37 disposals and awaits his senior recall.
ON THE BLOCK: Richmond suffered a rare loss on Saturday night, falling to Greater Western Sydney by two points at Spotless Stadium. There were some underwhelming performances for the Tigers, with Callum Moore (five disposals), Shai Bolton (nine disposals) and Corey Ellis (10 disposals) all failing to impact the contest. Jason Castagna butchered his chances in front of the sticks with five behinds, but he should have enough credits in the bank to keep him in the side next week.
BEN GIBSON'S FORECAST: The Tigers may looks to reshuffle their forward line after failing to kick a winning score against the Giants and it's hard to see Stengle getting overlooked. Richmond is still the outright premiership favourite and there is no need to panic, but with players pushing hard in the reserves, expect a change to the team which will face St Kilda on Friday night.
Seb Ross (illness) test
Jimmy Webster (groin) TBC
Logan Austin (groin) 1-2 weeks
Paddy McCartin (foot) 1-2 weeks
Josh Battle (eye socket) test
Nathan Brown (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Josh Bruce (fractured leg) season
Ben Long (foot) 1-2 weeks
Koby Stevens (concussion) season
Nathan Wright (knee) 1 week
Darren Minchington (hip) test
Dylan Roberton (heart) season
ON THE BLOCK: Wouldn't expect too many changes for the Saints in their clash with Richmond, though Seb Ross (gastro) is almost certain to return after missing the Blues match. He will be a welcome inclusion. Jake Carlisle should prove his fitness again after finishing out the match, despite being winded last Friday night.
ON THE CUSP: Nathan Freeman took another positive step towards breaking through for his first AFL game with 25 disposals for Sandringham on Sunday. The quick backup might be the only issue, though Alan Richardson said Freeman was edging closer to his debut sooner rather than later. Blake Acres also had 21 touches in the VFL.
GLENN McFARLANE'S FORECAST: That's three wins from their past four games for the Saints, after a horror first half of the season. Richardson is excited by the prospect of taking on the reigning premiers this week. There were positives out of the 64-point win over a spiritless Carlton, most notably how well some of the youngsters went, including Rowan Marshall, who provided a real option in attack. Not sure they can beat the Tigers, but we all know what happened last year.
Josh Kennedy (back) TBC
Dan Hannebery (calf) 2-3 weeks
Matthew Ling (toe) season
Jarrad McVeigh (collarbone) 3-4 weeks
Lewis Melican (hamstring) 7 weeks
Callum Mills (broken foot) season
Sam Reid (Achilles) 5 weeks
Heath Grundy (managed) test
James Rose (shoulder) 2-3 weeks
Sam Naismith (knee) season
ON THE CUSP: Heath Grundy was managed for the North Melbourne match so should be OK to return for next week's clash with Gold Coast at the SCG. Kieren Jack will also be a chance to return after missing a week with a grade one medial ligament strain in his knee. Jordan Foote and Dean Towers were among the best in the NEAFL win over NT Thunder.
ON THE BLOCK: Skipper Josh Kennedy looks unlikely to play against Gold Coast after suffering back spasms in the win over North Melbourne. He played only a couple of minutes in the second quarter before being ruled out of action.
NEIL CORDY'S FORECAST: Heath Grundy and Kieren Jack will both be recalled for Saturday's clash with Gold Coast. With games to follow against Essendon, Collingwood, Melbourne, GWS and Hawthorn the Swans will be keen to bank the points against the Suns.
Nic Naitanui (knee) TBC
Malcolm Karpany (knee) test
Eric Mackenzie (toe) season
Fraser McInnes (groin) test
Tony Olango (hamstring) 1 week
ON THE BLOCK: The extent of Nic Naitanui's knee injury is yet to be determined, but West Coast is again bracing itself for life without the club's star ruckman. Daniel Venables may be under the pump to hold his spot amid the Eagles' forward line riches after two quiet games.
ON THE CUSP: Nathan Vardy appears most likely to provide ruck support for Scott Lycett in Naitanui's absence. Tom Barrass returned for East Perth at the weekend and could be a straight swap for Will Schofield if the Eagles look to alter their defensive unit. Liam Ryan (three goals) and Dom Sheed (37 possessions) also showed encouraging signs at WAFL level.
CHRIS ROBINSON'S FORECAST: Nic Nat's injury hurts, a lot, but the Eagles walked away from the MCG with a season-defining win against Collingwood. Not only did it prove West Coast can perform at the home of footy, but it could go some distance to helping the WA side earn a top-two berth at season's end. A slip-up against the Dogs at home simply can't happen for Adam Simpson's side.
Tom Boyd (back) TBC
Aaron Naughton (ankle) TBC
Marcus Bontempelli (appendix) 1-2 weeks
Bailey Dale (foot) season
Tory Dickson (hamstring) 1 week
Lin Jong (collarbone) 3-4 weeks
Tom Liberatore (knee) season
Liam Picken (concussion) indefinite
Jack Redpath (knee) 3-4 weeks
Clay Smith (knee) retired
Matt Suckling (Achilles) 2-3 weeks
Bailey Williams (foot) 2-4 weeks
Easton Wood (hamstring) season
ON THE BLOCK: Coach Luke Beveridge made it known at his post-match press conference he was not particularly thrilled with any of his side's players in another horror second half collapse. A lot of the young players lost their way, but getting more games into them is the important thing at this stage of the Bulldogs' campaign.
ON THE CUSP: Star midfielder Marcus Bontempelli is said to be recovering well after having appendix surgery last week but will miss at least the clash with West Coast this weekend before potentially coming into the mix for a Round 19 clash with Port Adelaide. Lukas Webb impressed in the VFL on Sunday in his return from injury, gathering 21 disposals and kicking a goal.
CHRIS CAVANAGH'S FORECAST: Beveridge and his team have to find a fix for the second half fade-outs that are becoming a weekly occurrence. The Bulldogs have lost their past nine second halves and have been outscored by a total of 376 points after half-time in their 16 matches this season. A clash with West Coast in Perth on Sunday is going to be one massive challenge, given the Eagles have gone 7-2 at Perth Stadium this year and are coming off a big win in Melbourne over Collingwood.