Jason Johannisen sweats on Dogs' reprieve

Jason Johannisen could be left on the outer for the Western Bulldogs' first game of the AFL season.
Jason Johannisen could be left on the outer for the Western Bulldogs' first game of the AFL season.

Norm Smith medallist Jason Johannisen has a fight on his hands to play in the Western Bulldogs' AFL season-opener after being dropped to the reserves.

The premiership defender was axed from the Bulldogs' final pre-season match against Melbourne on Monday.

But Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has failed to guarantee a return to the team's best 22 for Johannisen when the club plays Collingwood at the MCG on March 19.

"'JJ' hasn't been out of the team since I've coached the club (starting in 2015) and we had a conversation about that," Beveridge told reporters.

"When he doesn't play so well we really hone in on what he can contribute because of his speed and his skills.

"We need a couple of things in his game to come to the fore and he'll earn his spot back at some point."

Beveridge said Johannisen would have been unlikely to face the Magpies at the MCG, but a shoulder injury to fellow defender Hayden Crozier means he could be offered a reprieve.

Crozier suffered a suspected AC joint injury in the 39-point victory over the Demons and is unlikely to be fit in 10 days time.

"I watched the (VFL) game and (Johannisen) had a reasonable performance ... but no guarantees yet," Beveridge said.

The Bulldogs are blessed with depth as they search for another premiership to add to the drought-breaking flag they won in 2016.

Joining Johannisen in the reserves was defender Taylor Duryea and No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.

Star recruit Adam Treloar also ran around at the Whitten Oval, but the Bulldogs are carefully managing the former Collingwood midfielder after he experienced calf tightness during the pre-season.

Treloar's strong performance puts him firmly in contention to make his Bulldogs debut against his old club.

Australian Associated Press