Brisbane Lions skipper Tom Rockliff will seek a second opinion from a hamstring expert as he tries to find an answer to his persistent soft-tissue injury woes.
Rockliff will miss Saturday night’s home AFL clash with Collingwood and probably the next two games after suffering fresh hamstring damage in their heavy loss to Port Adelaide on Sunday.
The injury is not connected to the back and nerve-related problems he has battled over the past 12 months, which have trigged their own injuries – including a calf strain which hampered Rockliff’s start to the season.
But he will be leaving no stone unturned to ensure he returns to 100 per cent fitness, Lions football manager Matt Francis said on Tuesday.
“The next step is to get the best advice around and get a second opinion from a hamstring expert to determine the best course of action and program to put him through,” Francis told AFL.com.au.
“We don’t anticipate it being a long-term injury … but while he’s out he’ll be addressing everything around his body to get him 100 per cent right.”
Midfielder Dayne Beams, who made his return from a long-term injury lay-off at the weekend, said the whole team shares in Rockliff’s frustration.
“It’s a worry because he’s our captain and the leader of our footy club,” he said.
“Obviously we want him out there as much as we can and I know it’s frustrating for him that these little things keep happening but that’s the game we play.
“Some things are just bad luck – you can do all the things during in the week to try and prevent it but you run out on gameday and unfortunately some of these things just happen.
“Unfortunately for Rock, it’s just happening a bit more frequently than it probably has previously in his career.”
Rockliff’s absence will heap further pressure on Brisbane’s under-performing midfield unit, which came in for criticism from coach Justin Leppitsch following the 77-point loss to the Power.
Beams agreed their failure to win the ball was putting their young defence under huge pressure.
“I think we went down 18 in clearances, 12 from the centre. That’s going to put any defence under a lot of pressure and our young blokes down there really struggle when the ball’s coming in quickly,” he said.
“That’s on us, we’ve got to fix that and make it a lot easier.”