WESTERN Bulldogs veteran Dale Morris could avoid surgery and play against Gold Coast this round despite suffering a broken jaw on Saturday night, leading sports medico Dr Peter Larkins says.
Larkins told AFL.com.au the Bulldogs were consulting surgeons on Monday to determine the best course of action for Morris, who fractured his jaw in the first quarter against Carlton but played out the game.
"Dale suffered a fractured mandible, which is the main jaw bone," Larkins said.
"It is only fractured in one position, which is quite unusual because often the jaw bone breaks on both sides because of its horse-shoe shape.
"He could require surgery but a decision will be made on Monday and the Bulldogs are hopeful he won't need it.
"Even if Dale avoids surgery, it's unlikely he would be available to play for one to two weeks at best because there's always the risk that he could get hit there again.
"I suspect the Bulldogs would try to convince him to sit aside for a week or two, but players with a single crack in the jawbone have played in the past and risked a further knock.
"It will be an interesting decision for Dale because he missed a lot of time with his pectoral injury earlier this year."
The prognosis is not as good for Morris' young teammate Toby McLean.
Larkins said McLean had dislocated his left AC joint in a marking contest late in the win over the Blues and was set to have surgery on Monday.
"He will have surgery to repair the dislocated collarbone," Larkins said.
"The likely recovery period for him is, at best, six to eight weeks, which might make it hard for him to get back into the senior team this year."
Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said on Monday that Gary Rohan would miss three to four weeks with the left hamstring strain he suffered in the second quarter of Thursday night's win over Port Adelaide.
But Larkins said Rohan could miss up to six weeks.
"It was a pretty high-level hamstring strain and, given Gary is such a speedster, he could quite easily miss more than a month," he said.
"It's quite a setback for Gary and I suspect he'll miss somewhere in that three to six weeks range."
Richmond forward Ben Griffiths was substituted out of the Tigers' win over Greater Western Sydney in the third quarter on Saturday after suffering a partial dislocation, or subluxation, of his shoulder.
Larkins said Griffiths had been carrying a shoulder problem for some time and should be not be sidelined by Saturday's injury.
“It's a condition that Richmond knows about. They might do some extra scans to see if he's done any additional damage but it's likely he'll be able to continue playing with strapping," Larkins said.
Emerging Carlton midfielder Patrick Cripps was forced from the ground in the final quarter against the Bulldogs after rolling his ankle.
Larkins said the Rising Star nominee was a 50-50 chance to play against Richmond this Friday night.
"Patrick was in a moonboot following an ankle sprain late in the game against the Bulldogs and he'll be pretty sore this week," he said.
"But he'll get a lot of physiotherapy this week and the Blues are hopeful he'll be right to play."
Larkins also said:
- Swans full-back Ted Richards will go through the usual concussion protocols this week after his head hit the ground as he was tackled by Port Adelaide spearhead Jay Schulz last Thursday night. Richards' bid to prove his fitness will be helped by the fact the Swans don't play until Sunday, but this year most players have not played the week after suffering a concussion.
- Essendon is waiting for further confirmation on Adam Cooney's tight adductor. The veteran was substituted out of the Bombers' loss to St Kilda in the third quarter but didn't seem to be too restricted. If scans show any damage, he's likely to miss one or two weeks.
- Angus Brayshaw was substituted out of Melbourne's loss to West Coast in the first quarter with concussion and a sore neck. Melbourne will assess him later in the week to see how sore he is, a bit like Collingwood did with Brodie Grundy's neck injury, but he's still in contention to play.
- Western Bulldog Jordan Roughead had back spasms from some joint irritation and was subbed out of the win over Carlton at half-time. He'll receive physiotherapy this week and remains a reasonable chance to play against Gold Coast on Saturday.
- Hawthorn wingman Isaac Smith suffered a scratch in the eye against Collingwood and received treatment on the sidelines, but should be fine to play on Sunday against Fremantle.
- Essendon veteran Jason Winderlich was a late withdrawal from the Saints clash with shin bruising. The Bombers are expecting him to train this week so he's in contention to return against Melbourne on Saturday.