Luckless AFL star’s ‘shattering’ blow

Lin Jong just can’t seem to catch a break.

The Western Bulldogs utility has endured a horror run of injuries throughout his AFL career, and the star’s nightmare unfortunately looks set to continue.

Having played just three games in the 2020 season, Jong was poised to make his long-awaited return from an ankle injury for the round six grudge match at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.

But his comeback was cruelly cut short in the opening term.

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During the first quarter of Friday evening’s clash against the GWS Giants, Ling fell to the deck clutching his right hamstring following an inconspicuous collision with Callan Ward.

“This looks like a hamstring for Jong, holding the bottom of the right leg there,” commentator James Brayshaw said on Channel 7.

“That is not good. Not good at all for a guy that’s had to battle so hard over the last couple of years.”

Hawthorn great Luke Hodge continued: “That’s shattering … he’s had so many issues, especially with his shoulders. He finally gets back in and started the game really well, and then that happens.”

Lin Jong was helped off the field after this incident in the first quarter.#AFLGiantsDogspic.twitter.com/mIqwgy658Q

I know there are worse things than a football injury. But Lin Jong looks to have done his third serious hamstring injury. Has suffered two broken collarbones, a broken jaw, an ACL, a ruptured appendix. https://t.co/RiskRpRAE5

The 27-year-old was helped off the ground by two trainers and later replaced by medical substitute Lachlan McNeil.

Jong has missed 38 games since 2017 through injury, and that number could grow depending on the severity of Friday’s setback.

The Advocate’s Alex Fair tweeted: “Lin Jong injured. Footy can be really cruel sometimes.”

The Age’s Daniel Cherney posted: “Poor Lin Jong. Cursed that bloke.”

Jong signed a one-year deal in November last year to extend his AFL career into a tenth season.

Seriously. Can’t the universe just give Lin Jong a break?!?! Shattering for him. #AFLGiantsDogs

Lin Jong has walked under the same ladder as Dante Exum. Just an absolutely putrid, rotten run with injuries. Hate it. #AFLGiantsDogs

Lin Jong 😓 @westernbulldogs
If ever a player deserved a break ‘‘twas him.
Bloody disappointing #AFLGiantsDogs

Minutes later, Giants midfielder Nick Haynes was also subbed out of the contest with a hamstring complaint, replaced by teammate Tanner Bruhn.

In a tightly-contest first half at the nation’s capital, the undefeated Bulldogs struggled to move the ball out of their back-half in cold conditions.

“The Giants are really well set-up defensively — and that’s what’s forcing some of these hack kicks out from the Western Bulldogs,” Swans legend Jude Bolton told Channel 7.

“They’re being a bit more methodical with their ball use, the Giants.”

But the Bulldogs prevailed to secure a narrow eight-point lead at halftime.

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