The hits keep coming for Brisbane, with young Lions midfielder Rhys Mathieson booked for surgery after copping a Jeremy Cameron bump.
Brisbane confirmed Mathieson had suffered a cheekbone fracture in Sunday’s AFL pre-season loss to Greater Western Sydney on the Gold Coast.
The Lions were already reeling from news that prized onballer Dayne Beams would be sidelined indefinitely with knee tendinitis.
He will miss at least the first month of the AFL season.
And star midfielder Dayne Zorko is also in doubt for their March 27 AFL season opener against West Coast after being charged for striking Giants skipper Phil Davis.
Brisbane needed all the help they could get as they looked to turn around a horror 2015 which registered just four wins.
The injury ravaged Lions only missed out on the wooden spoon last year on percentage.
But Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff tried to find a positive on Monday.
“Anyone would love to have their best 22 out there round one, but that’s the cards we’re dealt,” he said.
“We’ve got a pretty fit squad bar a couple, we’ll have 40-plus to pick from for round one.
“It’s a pretty good place for the footy club to be in, especially after our injury troubles the last couple of years.”
Rockliff admitted Beams’ unavailability would hurt but believed new recruits Ryan Bastinac of North Melbourne and ex-Carlton midfielder Tom Bell would help fill the void.
Rockliff (hamstring), Josh Green (foot) and Allen Christensen (finger) are tipped to play against the Eagles in WA despite missing the Lions’ entire pre-season campaign.
“I’m fine. I could have played (on Sunday) if it was round one,” Rockliff said.
“Greeny trained this morning and trained well.
“Bundy (Christensen) is the same. He hasn’t missed a beat.
“The midfield depth is quite strong. If we can get everyone out there we might surprise a few along the way.”
GWS forward Jeremy Cameron was reported for the high bump that injured Mathieson in the Giants’ 39-point win.
Mathieson is expected to undergo surgery on Monday night and Lions officials hope the youngster will only miss “a couple of weeks”.
Young midfielder Jaden McGrath has been cleared of a shoulder fracture after being forced to leave Sunday’s loss early following a collision with the Giants’ Toby Greene.