CLASSY Western Bulldogs defender Robert Murphy has overcome a painful injury and will register a significant milestone when his team plays West Coast at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.
Murphy's place in the round one team appeared in jeopardy after a nasty elbow injury at training in February.
An extended period on the sidelines loomed had surgery been required, but the veteran avoided the knife and will now benefit in more ways than one.
"I'm surprised how well it has recovered, but it's fully healed," Murphy told Fox Footy earlier this week.
As well as reward for a solid pre-season and his recuperative powers, a berth in today's clash against the Eagles will also mark the veteran's 250th game for the Bulldogs.
The 31-year-old will become only the 11th player in the Dogs' history to reach the milestone, joining the likes of Ted Whitten snr, Chris Grant, Brad Johnson and Doug Hawkins.
"He's just a great man to have in your club," coach Brendan McCartney told the club's website.
"Just a brilliant person to coach, and if you're a young player in the club, you're quite blessed to have his calibre around you, to learn from and want to emulate."
The son of a former priest and former nun, the boy from Warragul in Victoria's east was picked at No.13 in the 1999 National Draft.
A debut came in his first year at Whitten Oval, with the then-skinny 19-year-old collecting 13 possessions and kicking a late goal on the wing to help seal a three-point win over Carlton at Princes Park in round 19.
Moving to half-back has seen Murphy flourish, with his creative run, superb decision-making and exquisite kicking skills coming to the fore.
Those traits have earned him numerous honors, including an All-Australian jumper and runner-up in the club's best and fairest in 2011.
He's also a fan favourite, with his cheeky personality and insightful newspaper columns endearing him to the Bulldog faithful and the wider football public.