Jason Johannisen is in doubt for Round 1. Picture: Getty Images
Jason Johannisen is in doubt for Round 1. Picture: Getty Images

How many premiership Dogs will play Round 1?

Only 12 players from the Western Bulldogs 2016 premiership team look set to be available for Round 1, with a trio of stars still on the sidelines.

Forward Tom Boyd was unsighted for a light training session at Whitten Oval on Saturday morning as he continues to battle a back injury, while defender Jason Johannisen completed only a few handball drills and faces another week in a moon boot with a syndesmosis ankle injury.

Veteran Liam Picken is still on light non-contact duties, having revealed to the Herald Sun earlier this month he was still suffering headaches almost 12 months on from his most recent concussion.

The trio join midfielder Lin Jong (hamstring) and first-year defender Buku Khamis (knee) on a growing injury list, Jong set miss up to 10 weeks with a high-grade hamstring tear he suffered during match-simulation on Thursday.

Jason Johannisen is still in a moon boot. Picture: Michael Klein
Jason Johannisen is still in a moon boot. Picture: Michael Klein
Buku Khamis has joined the injury list. Picture: Getty Images
Buku Khamis has joined the injury list. Picture: Getty Images

"The sad thing is he's been training very well this year," Bulldogs teammate Zaine Cordy said of Jong.

"He's had a horrible run with injuries so hopefully he can get back fighting fit but it's going to be a pretty tough two months for him."

Cordy has had his own issues over pre-season, first having to nurse a fractured forehead he suffered in Round 21 last year and then having a "niggling ankle" injury which put him on a restricted program.

However, the defender has got himself fit again in recent weeks, his running times and weightlifting in the gym both up.

Zaine Cordy says the Western Bulldogs are hunting a return to finals. Picture: Michael Klein
Zaine Cordy says the Western Bulldogs are hunting a return to finals. Picture: Michael Klein

Cordy played in the 2016 premiership as a forward but said he was now settled down back where he liked to "play on instinct and back yourself".

Despite the current injury woes, the 22-year-old said the Bulldogs were backing themselves to bounce back this year after missing the top-eight the past two season.

"Our goal is this year to make finals," Cordy said.

"If we can stay healthy and get a good core of 25 players that can stay healthy I reckon we can have a fair crack this year."

Western Bulldogs meet Sydney in Round 1 on March 23.

News Corp Australia


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