Dogs to investigate scary Liberatore collapse, but claim ‘no concussion’ in concerning incident


Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has said star midfielder Tom Liberatore has ‘no concussion’ following a concerning incident in the last quarter of their loss to Essendon.

Following a series of heavy hits, albeit ones to the body rather than the head – including one from former Bulldogs teammate Jake Stringer – behind-the-goals vision at Marvel Stadium showed Liberatore staggering and then falling forwards, with opponent Darcy Parish quick to offer aid.

Controversially, the Bulldogs’ medical team did not come out onto the field to check on Liberatore following the fall, with the Dogs veteran allowed to get to his feet and play out the match.

The incident near the end of the game when Tom Liberatore collapsed in the centre of the ground…

— 7AFL (@7AFL) April 12, 2024

He only passed a SCAT5 test, which is required by the AFL in all case of suspected concussion, after the match, according to the Herald Sun.

“That does not look good,” Fox Footy commentator and former player Ben Dixon said after watching the incident.

“To stagger after a contest like this… [Bulldogs doctor] Gary Zimmerman would be having a close look at that. That is troubling.”

However, speaking after the match, Beveridge said the fall was nothing more sinister than Liberatore having ‘lost his footing and stumbled’.

“He’s [Liberatore] fine. For some reason he lost his footing and stumbled, but he’s fine,” Beveridge said during his post-match media conference.

“He’s being looked after and there’s no concussion or anything like that.”

Liberatore was likewise adamant he wasn’t concussed, telling ABC Radio post-match that he is symptom free and that the fall was due to an ankle injury sustained earlier in the match.

“Everything is good, I sorta came up and lost balance of my ankle,” he said.

I tweaked my ankle just at the start of the last quarter – so you know, I relayed when I got up, I fell back down.

“I’m all fine – no symptoms and full recollection.”

The AFL are expected to inquire with the Bulldogs about the incident, given the league’s strong recent attempt to minimise players sustaining concussions during play.

Only last year, Port Adelaide were handed a whopping $100,000 fine for breaching the league’s concussion rules after allowing defender Aliir Aliir to play on after a head clash with teammate Lachie Jones against Adelaide without undergoing a SCAT5 test.

Huge collision between Power teammates Aliir and Jones.

Thoughts with both players ????

???? Watch #AFLCrowsPower LIVE on ch. 503 or stream on Kayo:

— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) July 29, 2023

A positive concussion test would rule Liberatore out of at least the Bulldogs’ crucial Round 6 clash with St Kilda.

Having fallen out of the eight following Friday night’s result, the 29-point loss is expected to pile further pressure on the Dogs and embattled coach Luke Beveridge.

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