Tom Liberatore looks on after the Western Bulldogs' loss to Essendon in round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

WESTERN Bulldogs veteran Tom Liberatore has been ruled out of next week's game against St Kilda, despite being cleared of a concussion after Friday night's loss to Essendon.

Liberatore collapsed suddenly late in the game at Marvel Stadium against the Bombers before making it to his feet and continuing to play. The club confirmed on Saturday that he had passed a head injury assessment on Friday night and had no concussion symptoms when assessed again on Saturday morning.

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However, the club has decided to put Liberatore in concussion protocols – ruling him out of the game against the Saints on Thursday night – out of an abundance of caution.

"Given the concerning nature of in-game footage during the final minutes that show Tom falling to the ground, the club's medical team has subsequently reached a decision to place him in concussion protocols," the club said in a statement.

"This decision has been taken with an abundance of caution, with Tom's health and wellbeing the absolute priority.

"As a result, Tom will miss Thursday's match against St Kilda and will continue to be monitored."

Tom Liberatore (left) is seen post-match during round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Post-match, the broadcast showed behind-the-goals vision of Liberatore stumbling to the ground, much to the alarm of opponent Darcy Parish, who immediately signalled for trainers.

Liberatore had 25 disposals and 10 clearances in the Bulldogs' defeat.

He told ABC Radio after the game that he had lost his balance after tweaking his ankle earlier in the last quarter, declaring he had no symptoms and full recollection of the incident.

Jake Stringer and Tom Liberatore embrace after the R5 match between Essendon and Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on April 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Coach Luke Beveridge said the star midfielder had been cleared of any issues.

"For some reason he lost his footing and stumbled, but he's fine," Beveridge said.

"He's been looked after and there's no concussion or anything like that.

"We were coming in (to the changeroom) just making sure he's OK and he's apparently fine."

The Bulldogs fell to 2-3 and will now be without Liberatore for an important clash against the Saints.