WESTERN Bulldogs recruit Liam Jones has been cleared of structural damage to his neck, following an ugly incident in his first game for the club since 2014. 

The 32-year-old was substituted out of Saturday night’s 50-point loss to Melbourne at the MCG after an awkward collision with teammates Josh Bruce in a marking contest just before half time.

Scans on Sunday morning have removed the concern of serious injury, leaving the door open for the former Carlton defender to face St Kilda on Saturday night. 

Jones woke up stiff and sore and will be assessed at training later in the week before a decision is made on his availability to face the Saints at the MCG. 

Small defender Taylor Duryea suffered a similar injury in the Western Bulldogs’ practice match against North Melbourne earlier this month and didn’t miss a game. 

But the two-time premiership Hawk had two weeks to recover ahead of round one, meaning seven days could prove a stretch to be cleared to play. 

Luke Beveridge is already without key defender Ryan Gardner for at least the first few weeks of the season due to elbow surgery. 

Jones returned to the Whitten Oval at the end of last season after the Dogs beat a number of clubs to sign the free agent after he spent 2022 playing for Palm Beach Currumbin in the QAFL.