The Western Bulldogs are counting the cost of their 39-point win over GWS on Friday night, with Josh Dunkley, Tim English and Lin Jong all going down injured.
The unbeaten Bulldogs continued their best start to a season since 1946, but coach Luke Beveridge was left to rue the injury curse.
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Dunkley (shoulder), English (concussion) and Jong (hamstring) all failed to see out the 15.14 (104) to 9.11 (65) win at Manuka Oval that moved the Dogs to 6-0.
Fans were particularly gutted to see the injury-plagued Jong go down again in his first match of the season and first since July last year.
Jong clearly distressed as he was helped from the ground by trainers in the opening term.
“That is not good," James Brayshaw said in commentary for Channel 7.
"Not good at all for a guy that’s had to battle so hard over the last couple of years.”
Hawthorn great Luke Hodge added: “That’s shattering … he’s had so many issues, especially with his shoulders.
"He finally gets back in and started the game really well, and then that happens.”
Beveridge said of the popular Jong: "It's an emotional night for him and his teammates.
"When things like that happen in games, they're that connected, that you're not sure how that's going to affect them.
"So that just accentuates the outcome and how enormous it was because they can go out in sympathy for their (injured) teammates.
"I think we're going to lose him for a little while."
Teammate Jack Macrae told Channel 7: “Feel so sorry for Jong, he has put in so much work. Pretty devastating to see him go down.
Luke Beveridge confident Bulldogs can overcome injuries
Dunkley is in danger of missing a large portion of the season, having twice dislocated his right shoulder in the final term.
And English will miss Friday night's blockbuster clash with reigning premier Richmond at the MCG after Aaron Naughton's knee connected with his chin in a last-quarter marking contest.
English will go into the AFL's 12-day concussion protocol and will also have scans to determine if he has suffered any fractures in the heavy collision with his teammate.
Beveridge is confident the Bulldogs have the depth to cover their first major injury test of the season, with midfielder Patrick Lipinski at the head of the queue to be included for the big game against the reigning premiers.
"They've been the testing material for a long time," the coach said.
"It's important that we absolutely respect what they do because they've been a phenomenal outfit.
"They've got such a stable brand, but at the same time we've got to make sure that we reflect on what's working for us and do our absolute best to bring that out and have faith that that's going to test the Tigers."
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