Shepparton News

Beveridge is bullish on Bontempell­i’s fitness

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Melbourne: Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says he is more optimistic on the prospect of captain Marcus Bontempell­i proving his fitness for their preliminar­y final than he was at the time of the injury.

The Bulldogs superstar hurt his right knee in an awkward landing from a marking contest in last Saturday’s dramatic semi-final win over Brisbane.

Scans cleared Bontempell­i of any structural damage and the Dogs are optimistic their skipper will take on Port Adelaide tomorrow night.

Beveridge said a decision on Bontempell­i came down to the risk of his injury forcing him out of the preliminar­y final early in the game, but the fact it wasn’t a softtissue concern gave more confidence his body would hold up.

“With things like joints and some soreness and some bone bruising and some things that a player may be able to overcome – and the soft-tissue aspect isn’t there – then it gives you a level of confidence that you’re going to be able to play the four quarters,” he told SEN.

“We’ll see how he trains today and how he goes about his work, and we’re really hopeful that he’s going to be OK.

“If he isn’t then we’re just going to have to, as we have all year, spread the load and fill his role with someone else and believe we can get the job done.”

Beveridge said he’d consistent­ly had a “level of confidence” Bontempell­i would be OK after Saturday’s game, but was feeling more optimistic five days down the track.

“When the scans came back and there wasn’t anything dramatic wrong with his knee, obviously we all breathed a sigh of relief,” he said. “But yeah, I’m probably more glass half-full now than I was when it happened.”

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