WESTERN Bulldogs forward Laitham Vandermeer will be racing the clock to be fit in time for the Toyota AFL Grand Final after being subbed out of the preliminary final against Port Adelaide with hamstring tightness.
Just a week ago, the 22-year-old rushed through a match-winning point to get the Bulldogs across the line in a semi-final, and he started brightly against the Power with the second goal of the match.
Coach Luke Beveridge said Vandermeer is now in serious doubt for the premiership decider in a fortnight against Melbourne.
"He's a bit tight in the hamstring. He's got scary history with his soft-tissue, Laith, and our guys thought if he ran any more it was just about to explode," Beveridge said.
"He definitely feels like he hasn't had a nasty injury but he had to come out of the game because he couldn't run.
"So that's a concern because he's been important for us. But at the moment he'll be doubtful."
POWER v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats
Exciting young forward Cody Weightman missed the preliminary final due to a concussion sustained against the Lions but will be available for the Grand Final if he passes the standard protocols.
Meanwhile, Beveridge also threw his support behind prized recruit Adam Treloar after the midfielder came in for stinging criticism for a listless performance in the semi-final against Brisbane.
Treloar had only one effective kick in 10 disposals against the Lions but bounced back to gather 23 disposals, nine tackles and a goal against the Power in a much-improved display.
"For a guy like Adam that people know has had some challenges over the journey, it was just really poor, vindictive stuff and it was really distasteful," Beveridge said.
FIVE TALKING POINTS Dogs make the most of fast start
"He has an average game last week, he didn't like it. But what a great night for him to be able to withstand that and then give a great contribution for his teammates and our footy club.
"I'm really proud of him and just bloody disappointed in a few people that are really nasty."
The Bulldogs are now into their second Grand Final under Beveridge and their first since breaking the club's 62-year premiership drought in 2016.
Their opponent Melbourne will be aiming to break its own drought of 57 years in what is a rematch of the 1954 decider.
Beveridge started his playing career at the Demons with 42 matches in 1989-92 but will be hoping to prolong his former club's pain for at least another season.
"As much as I would love for them to salute at some point, I definitely don't want it in two weeks' time,” Beveridge said.
"Like us in '16, the Demons have had to wait for a long time. I imagine the emotions and the public support will be behind the Demons to break the drought, I get that, I understand that.
"But obviously we'll be doing our best to spoil the party."