MIDFIELDER Josh Dunkley will miss most of the Western Bulldogs’ remaining home and away AFL games, requiring a full shoulder reconstruction.
The 24-year-old dislocated his right shoulder in the final quarter of Friday’s win over Greater Western Sydney and will have surgery on Tuesday which will sideline him for three-to-four months.
Dunkley, who remained at the Bulldogs after his attempt to secure an off-season trade to Essendon fell through, had played a crucial role in the club’s 6-0 start this year, averaging 30.3 disposals and 5.2 clearances per game.
But he is now unlikely to be available again until the lead-up to the finals series.
“Although we were initially optimistic that Josh may be able to avoid surgery, subsequent scans have confirmed the best way to manage Josh in the short-to- medium term is to have a full shoulder reconstruction,” Bulldogs head of medical services Chris Bell said.
“This surgery will be completed tomorrow. At this stage, we expect Josh to miss the next three-to-four months.”
Meanwhile, luckless Bulldog Lin Jong will have surgery on Tuesday to treat hamstring tendon damage and faces 10-12 weeks on the sidelines.
Jong suffered the injury in the opening quarter of his first game since July 2020.
It was just his fourth game in three years and 65th in 10 seasons since his debut, having previously endured a string of injuries.
In better news, ruckman Tim English has avoided any damage to his jaw after suffering a concussion.
He will miss the Bulldogs’ bumper clash with Richmond but should be fit to face Carlton the following week.
“Tim has come in quite well today, and he will work closely with our doctors through the return to play concussion protocols,” Bell said.
“Tim will miss this week, but we hope to see him back soon after.”
(C) AAP 2021