- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Western Bulldogs are sweating on the fitness of captain Marcus Bontempelli after pulling off one of their all-time greatest AFL finals wins.
The Bulldogs are through to their first preliminary final since their drought-breaking 2016 premiership season after defeating the Brisbane Lions in a one-point thriller at the Gabba on Saturday night.
Bontempelli, Bailey Smith and Jack Macrae were all heroic in the Bulldogs' surge to overturn a 10-point three-quarter-time deficit in front of a parochial Brisbane crowd.
But Bontempelli, one of the Brownlow Medal favourites, looked sore in the frantic dying stages and spent time on the bench.
The 25-year-old felt "ginger" but told Channel Seven after the game that initial tests were "pretty good".
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge was more tight-lipped, though.
"(Bontempelli) just copped a knock to the back of his knee, so difficult to know the extent of any injury," Beveridge said.
"He is obviously a little bit sore.
"We will let a little bit of time go by before we can assess it and we will probably get a scan once we get to Perth and see if there's any damage."
But the Bulldogs will definitely be without livewire forward Cody Weightman for next Saturday night's preliminary final against Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval.
Weightman was concussed during a big collision with Lions defender Marcus Adams late in the second term and was subbed off at halftime.
Like Lions forward Dan McStay last week, Weightman will be automatically ruled out for 12 days under the AFL's new concussion protocols, which were brought in ahead of this season.
But even with some injury concerns, belief will be building that the Bulldogs can replicate their extraordinary run to the flag five years ago.
"The struggle of the whole thing sort of reminded me a little bit of the 2016 prelim against GWS with how tense it was," Beveridge said.
"The game was in the balance, we were down then fought back, as did Brisbane.
"To beat such a formidable opponent in a big game, it ranks right up there."
The Bulldogs will fly out of Queensland on Sunday for Perth, where they will spend the majority of the week before later travelling to Adelaide for the clash with the Power.