Western Bulldogs ruckman Tim English has been struck down by a severe flu, meaning his comeback to the AFL will be delayed even further.
The Bulldogs big man has been out since round five with a hamstring injury but missed Friday night's 14.15 (99) to 7.9 (51) win against Collingwood with illness.
But coach Luke Beveridge revealed English has already been all but ruled out of next Saturday's clash with Gold Coast in Ballarat.
"When I mentioned he'd been ill, I mean really ill," Beveridge said after the 48-point win at Marvel Stadium.
"I don't think he'll be ready to play next week so (Jordan Sweet) is likely to continue on (in the ruck) and big Jarrod Witts (from the Suns) will be a challenge.
"He's just got a really, really bad bout of this flu ... it's really knocked him around. Nothing sinister, but he's dropped a bit of weight and it will take him a while to get his bearings again."
Aaron Naughton booted 3.2 against the Magpies and was one of the most important players on the ground but was troubled with a knee injury for most of the game.
The 22-year-old star hobbled to the bench late in the final quarter.
"(Naughton) jarred his knee but durability, resilience and all those words you sort of bandy around when you're under a bit of duress, some of the boys who copped a knock or went down a different stages they just wanted to stay on the ground," Beveridge said.
"'Naughty' was one of those who when asked the question said 'nah, I'm staying out there no matter what', so hopefully he'll be OK next week."
The Bulldogs' best performance of the season puts them to 4-5 ahead of games against Gold Coast and West Coast in the next two weeks.
After a slow start to the year, the Bulldogs' midfield group looked back to their best as Adam Treloar starred against the club that put him on the trade table at the end of 2020.
Australian Associated Press
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