‘That’s not good’: Mystery over Bulldogs hardman Tom Liberatore’s mid-game ‘collapse’

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There is concern for Western Bulldogs midfielder Tom Liberatore after he appeared to collapse on the field late in his side’s loss to Essendon on Friday night.

The Bombers dominated the second half at Marvel Stadium to claim a 15.6 (96) to 9.13 (67) victory — their third of the season.

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Essendon’s “edge” has been the buzzword of the season so far and they put their stamp on the contest when Jake Stringer collected Liberatore in a crunching tackle in the fourth quarter.

The former premiership teammates wrestled on the ground, before Liberatore looked worse for wear in the dying stages of the game.

As Laitham Vandermeer kicked a behind for the Bulldogs, Seven commentator Brian Taylor noticed Liberatore had fallen over in the centre square.

Essendon’s Darcy Parish immediately looked concerned and helped Liberatore to his feet.

“Gee Liberatore’s had a delayed reaction in the middle of the ground,” Taylor said.

“He’s fallen over for absolutely no reason. That was bizarre. The Essendon players helped him to his feet. Parish is concerned about him.

“He just collapsed in the middle of the ground. He was just walking along. He does not all that comfortable at the moment.

“I don’t think the Bulldogs’ doctors have seen that. Parish was first to his aid.”

Watch Tom Liberatore’s scary fall in the video above.

Remarkably, the Bulldogs’ medical staff didn’t come out onto the field to check on Liberatore and he played out the last few minutes of the game.

“That’s a bit of a concern,” James Brayshaw said when Seven showed replays of the incident after the game.

Matthew Richardson agreed: “That’s not good. Clearly the Dogs’ medicos will be all over that tonight.”

Liberatore explained post-game he had lost his balance after hurting his ankle early in the fourth term.

“Everything’s good, just sort of came up and lost balance a bit,” he told ABC Radio.

“I tweaked my ankle just start of the last quarter. When I got up I fell back down … All fine, no symptoms, full recollection.”

On Fox Footy, Jonathan Brown said Stringer may have rattled Liberatore’s ribs, adding: “You don’t know how much wind has been taken out of you.”

One fan wrote on X: “That’s such scary footage, and quite concerning that Libba stayed on the ground following that.”

Another said: “Always scary seeing anyone just collapse like this, especially someone like libba, hope he’s alright.”

Asked how Liberatore was doing, coach Luke Beveridge said: “Yeah he is, he’s fine.

“For some reason he lost his footing and stumbled but he’s fine. He’s been looked after and there’s no concussion or anything like that. We were coming in just making sure he’s OK and he’s apparently fine.”

It was a dirty night for the Bulldogs, who now have a 2-3 record after kicking just three goals in the second half.

Bailey Dale was a surprise choice as substitute for the Dogs, while Essendon bounced back from a drubbing at the hands of Port Adelaide last week in perfect fashion to move into eighth on the ladder.