GOLD Coast coach Stuart Dew is hopeful Rory Thompson has avoided another ruptured anterior cruciate ligament after the veteran left the field nursing his left knee in Saturday's loss to the Western Bulldogs.
In just his third game back following successive knee reconstructions, Thompson gingerly left Ballarat's Mars Stadium in the second quarter and did not return.
Following the 19-point loss, Dew said Thompson would be scanned early in the week, but the club was hopeful.
"We're not fearing the worst," Dew said following the match.
"It's obviously a knee injury, but at this point we think it's not the worst case. We'll have to wait and see.
"We feel for Rory. He's been integral since he's come back in and makes players better around him."
Thompson's loss, along with that of fellow defender Jy Farrar through concussion, did not help the Suns' cause, but Dew said it was not the reason for their loss.
He said Gold Coast was "soundly beaten around the ball" and was also disappointed in his team's aerial contests as the match wore on.
One neon highlight was the outing of Joel Jeffrey, the six-game forward kicking five goals at the end of the same week in which a family member died.
"He made his family very proud today," Dew said.
"I think he'll get more out of it than we will because we know he's a good player, we've seen it on the track, he puts the work in.
"I think we saw today what he's capable of."
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge was delighted with his team's performance, saying its ability to steady under pressure in the final quarter was encouraging.
He praised the team's midfield for stifling the in-form Suns and was complimentary of the Bulldogs' younger players, saying defenders Luke Cleary and Ed Richards – who had a huge last quarter – and small forward Lachlan McNeil all had an influence.
"It was encouraging," Beveridge said.
"We're really enthusiastic about the day and the outcome.
"Right now, our good has been all right, but in the scheme of the next part of the year and next week, you can never be too sure.
"Hopefully we can establish ourselves as a team that can string a few more (wins) together."
Beveridge said he would be keen to rewatch the game to see why forward Aaron Naughton had minimal influence following a dominant first quarter.
"I've got to be really careful here," he said.
"He's been so dominant and then there were reasons why he wasn't in the second half, that's all I'll say.
"We'll do some follow-up.
"He kept fighting, kept bringing the ball to ground. That's what he does.
"We'll work our way through it through the course of the week."