THE EUPHORIA of the Western Bulldogs' finals win in Perth was tempered by the powerful image of an injured Lin Jong in tears on the bench after playing what may be his last game for the club.
The midfielder suffered a serious right shoulder injury during the second quarter after being pinned in a heavy tackle by Eagles defender Jeremy McGovern.
Club doctors quickly ruled him out of the rest of the match and the distressed 23-year-old appeared to also believe his season was over – unlike his team's – when TV cameras captured the painful image of him being consoled by a trainer.
Coach Luke Beveridge confirmed after the game that Jong, who was in tears again after the match, had broken his collarbone and would miss the remainder of the club's finals campaign.
"I hope it's about his injury and not because he thinks it's his last game for the Bulldogs," Beveridge said.
"The boys are just giving him a cuddle and he'll be fine."
Jong had six possessions up to the 13-minute mark of the second quarter when he was injured.
Jong is out of contract and being pursued by Gold Coast and Collingwood, but he was desperate to be part of the Bulldogs' campaign in Thursday night's 47-point elimination final win in front of a stunned crowd of 42,079 at Domain Stadium.
The Bulldogs had already rolled the dice with recently injured players including captain Easton Wood, Jackson Macrae, Jordan Roughead and Tom Liberatore but it paid off.
Next week the Bulldogs play the loser of Hawthorn and Geelong while the Eagles season is over.