A VISIBLY emotional Luke Beveridge has spoken of the grief the club endured in the wake of season-ending injuries to Mitch Wallis and Jack Redpath.
On the verge of tears at his weekly press conference, the second-year coach spoke of the love he has for his injured charges and the Western Bulldogs' playing group as a whole.
Both Wallis (broken leg) and Redpath (ACL) have had successful surgeries and Beveridge said they wouldn't be forgotten as the team headed for consecutive finals appearances under his tenure.
The upset loss to St Kilda saw the Dogs tumble from the top-four and Beveridge wasn't sure what impact the weekend's traumatic scenes would have on his team when they face Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Friday night.
"I'm an emotional person with our (playing) group and the way they care about each other," Beveridge told reporters.
"It's my prerogative and responsibility to be strong, which I'm not being now, but I haven't been this (emotional) with the group.
"They've been quite resilient when they've been around each other and they're all in really good spirits.
'We've picked ourselves up, we're going to train this afternoon and pump a bit of energy into that session and that will help us move on."
"We won't know the true outcome until we play Friday night, but we feel like we're preparing well."
Beveridge said Bob Murphy had been a tower of strength during the turmoil with the injured skipper teaming with club player welfare expert Lisa Stevens to counsel the players.
The coach also did his best to put a positive spin on a very traumatic situation.
"Our players all meet on Sunday and our skipper Bob Murphy has been quite brilliant from leadership point of view," Beveridge said.
"(They) talked to the players as a collective and as individuals.'
"I spoke to group (on Monday) to help them process it, but ultimately Mitch and 'Red' are going to come back to us and going to be Western Bulldogs players in the future."
"We play a game that's full of risk and it's unfortunate we've been a bit stiff with (injury) over recent times, but we'll get our run of good fortune at some point."
The loss of Wallis and Redpath is set to be offset by the likely return of star forwards Jake Stringer and Luke Dahlhaus.
Stringer missed the loss to St Kilda with a shoulder complaint while Dahlhaus picked up a knee injury in the round 12 win over Port Adelaide.
"Luke will definitely play and Jake is 99 per cent, so he'll have a run this afternoon and he'll be fine," Beveridge said.
With Dale Morris (hamstring) only a 50-50 to face the Cats, the coach forecast the possible return of Zaine Cordy following the versatile defender's club-imposed ban for a drunken altercation with teammate Tom Boyd.
If selected, it would be the 19-year-old's first senior game for 2016 after a string of impressive performances for Footscray in the VFL.
Rookie Roarke Smith is also vying with Cordy for a place in Friday night's final 22.
"We're a chance to pick our 20th player in the backline this year which is unheard of really," Beveridge said.
"For us to still be where we are as our defensive statistics go (considering all the our injuries) is a real credit to our players."