Tom Liberatore jogs laps during a Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval on June 5, 2024, Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

WESTERN Bulldogs gun Tom Liberatore will tweak his all-in approach to attacking the contest when he returns from concussion against Brisbane.

But Ed Richards will have at least another week off following his second concussion of the season.

Liberatore, 32, has missed six games this year, including the past four, in the aftermath of concussions.


He collapsed on the field against Essendon in round five and was concussed in his comeback against Hawthorn three weeks later.

The Bulldogs have taken a cautious approach, gradually ramping up Liberatore's workload after he cleared concussion protocols last month.

Coach Luke Beveridge said Liberatore had to get through training without any complications to be selected for Friday's clash with the Lions at Marvel Stadium – and the midfielder was subsequently involved in Wednesday's session.


"He should be fine," Beveridge said.

"He's been training with the group and getting through most things. So we anticipate that he'll be OK."

Renowned for his ferocious attack on the ball, Liberatore has been finetuning his technique in approaching contests.

"We've done a bit of that with him," Beveridge said of addressing Liberatore's 'see ball, get ball' approach. 

Tom Liberatore jogs during a Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval, May 9, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

"You see the commitment and the head-first stuff, we want him to do it a little bit differently. 

"(When the) instincts kick in, he might not be able to. The players are looking after each other a little bit more as the games continue to be ticked off. 

"But we've done a little bit of work, and that'll continue."

Beveridge said Liberatore "seems to bounce back pretty quickly" from head knocks in terms of symptoms, but the Bulldogs would continue to be careful with his game management.

"We've been conservative, been ultra-conservative, with him. But as far as head scans and all that he appears fine," he said. 

Tom Liberatore is helped from the ground after the Western Bulldogs' game against Hawthorn in R8, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"Historically, not many players have come back from concussions, even after missing the 12 days, and outperformed and played extremely well – it seems to be a pattern. 

"You're always a little bit nervous about how a player is going to reintroduce themselves on-field and how they're going to go. 

"So he'll play, hopefully he gets through the session, but he'll play close to his usual game time. 

"We'll probably be a bit conservative with him in his management."

Richards, whose move into midfield from defence has proved a revelation, hasn't fully recovered from his concussion against Sydney in round 11.

Ed Richards in action at Western Bulldogs training on June 5, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

"He didn't perform as well as we thought he should have in his substantive testing," Beveridge said. 

"So we're just being a bit cautious, making sure he's OK. 

"He seems fine, he's a bit frustrated – he wants to play. But we'll just hold him out for another week."

The 11th-placed Bulldogs (6-6) will ponder a forward line reshuffle against Brisbane (13th, 4-1-6), with Sam Darcy (suspension) joining Aaron Naughton and Cody Weightman on the sidelines for the next two games.

Recruit James Harmes (hamstring) is injured while Laitham Vandermeer (hamstring) will have to prove his fitness.