July 14, 2024

Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli is in doubt for the AFL clash with North Melbourne after hurting his back in an incident at training.

Bontempelli fell awkwardly under the weight of a tackle from a teammate on Wednesday and left the field early, reportedly with a back spasm.

The 28-year-old will undergo further assessment in the coming days and is no certainty to line up against the Kangaroos at Docklands on Saturday.

Bontempelli has been in scintillating form this season, sitting among the leading Brownlow Medal contenders after finishing runner-up for the second time last year.

He has played every game this season and starred in wins over Fremantle and Collingwood before the Dogs’ mid-season bye, despite battling illness in the lead-up to both fixtures.AFL 2022: Western Bulldogs goalkicking inaccuracy, loss to Richmond Tigers,  Luke Beveridge post-match press conference, Kane Cornes on lack of key  position players, list issue

The Bulldogs have won four of their past six matches to balance their season record at 7-7 in pursuit of a finals berth.

They sit 11th on the ladder, just four premiership points outside the top eight with a healthy percentage (119.7).

While losing Bontempelli would be a blow to the Dogs’ midfield, Sam Darcy is back from suspension, and fellow key forward Aaron Naughton is a chance to return from a knee injury.

James Harmes (hamstring) and Nick Coffield (shoulder) both face fitness tests in the coming days.

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