The Westen Bulldogs have come out of the traps flying this season and top the AFL table after ten rounds of games. The charge from the west Melbourne side has been one that few expected in 2021 but now that they have the bit between their teeth, the Bulldogs look impossible to subdue. That is, they did before their star man Adam Treloar fell awkwardly in the first half of their game against St Kilda.

It looked like a rather innocuous fall in real-time but it soon became apparent that Treloar was in a large degree of discomfort. The dynamic midfielder would be substituted soon after but that did not stop the Bulldogs’ momentum on the night as they went on to record a dominant 111-point win over St Kilda.

But concerns will now turn to how the side will fare without Treloar after the extent of the 28-year-old’s injury became official. Indeed, a syndesmosis injury will rule the midfielder out for up to eight weeks, which naturally means he will miss the chunk of the season where teams have to begin grinding out results in order to stay at the summit of the table.

The positive is that Treloar will be able to make a return to action before the end of the season and the expert opinion seems to be that the Bulldogs will be as dangerous without their talismanic midfielder. The latest Aussie Rules betting backs that up with the Bulldogs priced as the favourites at 7/2 to still go on and win the grand final in September.

Perhaps that is down to the onset of the colder months and the potential for other teams to also suffer the odd injury setback during the winter. It is indeed a war of attrition until September with the teams at the top of the league tasked with finding a way to keep delivering a level of consistency needed for a title charge.

As far as the Bulldogs go, they won’t want to lose their foothold at the top, given that their last grand final win was in 2016. On that occasion, they were able to beat Sydney by 22 points to lift their first AFL premiership since 1954. Indeed, it took the Bulldogs a staggering 62 years to once again claim the greatest prize in Aussie Rules, so you can understand why there is a bit of tension surrounding Treloar’s injury news. This is a club that knows all too well that very little is promised in the race to be crowned kings of the sport. It has already been five years since their last title and there will be a few nervous glances behind at the chasing pack, with the fear being that this early season momentum is in danger of subsiding overnight.

When all is said and done, professional sport is so often decided by the finest margins on the field of play. The Westen Bulldogs will have to hope that the rest of their star-studded midfield can get them over the line in Treloar’s absence.