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Jonathan Brown warned not to risk season

By Jim Morton 05/05/2008 02:55:27 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Leigh Matthews has strongly warned Jonathan Brown against jeopardising his AFL season by carrying a quad injury into Saturday's Hall of Fame match.

Matthews believes it's illogical that Brown should be available to captain Victoria at the MCG after the star forward was ruled out of Brisbane's loss to Geelong on the weekend.

But he will reluctantly leave the decision in the hands of an enthusiastic Brown and urged the Victorian medical team to show the same care as their Lions counterparts.

In a decision which will significantly detract or enhance the credibility of the showcase Origin clash, much rides on whether the reigning Coleman Medallist lines up against the Dream Team.

The concept has already been hit hard with Dream Team duo Nick Riewoldt and Simon Black ruled out through injury, along with Victorian Luke Hodge, while Geelong star Gary Ablett is also in serious doubt.

Former Victorian skipper Matthews said Brown, who has declared himself fit and ready, should only play if he was 100 per cent.

The four-time premiership coach denied he'd changed his view after saying on Friday that players who missed round seven matches shouldn't be considered for the Tribute clash.

"I would have thought logic might say `if you can't play the week before the game then you can't play Hall of Fame game' but logic doesn't always apply," said Matthews.

"I've been trying to think about (my views), I've been trying to put my footy fan hat on ... (but) if you have got nothing good to say about something, say nothing.

"... As Lions coach I don't want any of our players to play because there's nothing to gain and there's a lot to lose if they hurt themselves."

Matthews understood Brown's keenness to grab the "once in a lifetime" chance to captain his state but warned he risked two months on the sidelines by exacerbating tightness in his quadriceps.

"He thought he would have probably played (against Geelong) but the medical people thought that if that tight quad becomes a strained quad then you miss the best past of six or eight weeks," he said.

"The medical people thought there was just too big a risk.

"That same concern will be there again this week I would have thought.

"But Jonathan is the captain of Victoria and when you're appointed captain of Victoria six months in advance you're going to move heaven and earth to be there. It's a big honour.

"This week is an individual thing, it's not a team thing.

"The problem is the type of thing that Jonathan has got I suspect he will feel OK later in the week but I just hope the medical people with the Victorian team have the same degree of care as our people."

Matthews drew on his own personal experience, feeling compelled to carry an injury through an Origin match because he was appointed the Victorian skipper.

"I had a very sore Achilles tendon that I was virtually carrying and a week off would have been helpful but I was captain so there was no thought of not getting out there," he said.

"It was sore the whole year.

"What we've said to Browny was `all we ask of you is don't play unless you are perfect to play'.

"There's going to be 50 players playing on the weekend and there's 500 players you could choose from to play and I would have thought you have to be perfect to play.

"This isn't the sort of game you go into if you are not perfect."

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