Bulldogs to rest Liberatore after dramatic collapse

Tom Liberatore will be rested for the Western Bulldogs' next AFL game after his dramatic collapse late in the Friday night loss to Essendon.

The star midfielder fell to the ground with nobody near him at Marvel Stadium, prompting opponent Darcy Parish to signal to the benches for assistance.

The Bulldogs say their clearance beast has passed concussion protocols, but he will sit out next Thursday night's game against St Kilda after the "concerning" incident.

Mindful of the sensitivities around concussion in sport, the Dogs were at pains to explain what was happening with Liberatore.

"Immediately following (the game), Liberatore reported to the Bulldogs’ medical team with no concussion symptoms and passed a head injury assessment, conducted as per AFL protocols," the club said in a Saturday afternoon statement.

"Tom remains without concussion symptoms this morning. However, given the concerning nature of in-game footage during the final minutes that show Tom falling to the ground, the club’s medical team has subsequently reached a decision to place him in concussion protocols.

"This decision has been taken with an abundance of caution, with Tom’s health and wellbeing the absolute priority.

"As a result, Tom will miss Thursday’s match against St Kilda and will continue to be monitored."

Immediately after the game, Liberatore and coach Luke Beveridge were more upbeat about the midfielder.

Liberatore told ABC Radio he had lost his balance after tweaking his ankle earlier in the last quarter, declaring he had no symptoms and full recollection of the incident.

Beveridge said the experienced midfielder had been checked and cleared of any issues.

"For some reason he lost his footing and stumbled, but he's fine," Beveridge said.

"He's been looked after and there's no concussion or anything like that.

"We were coming in (to the changeroom) just making sure he's OK and he's apparently fine."

Liberatore was among the Bulldogs' best against Essendon, racking up 10 clearances among his 25 possessions, and he will be sorely missed as they try to rebound from successive losses.

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