Nigel Lappin's birthday wish simple - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Nigel Lappin's birthday wish simple

By Laine Clark 20/06/2008 06:26:06 PM Comments (0)

There will be no prizes for guessing Brisbane Lions veteran Nigel Lappin's birthday wish on Saturday.

Lappin - turning 32 - had hoped to celebrate with a welcome return to the field after being sidelined for eight weeks with injury.

Instead, a question mark now looms over not only the three-time premiership winner's season but also his career after another setback.

Lappin will again be a frustrated spectator when the Lions host the Adelaide Crows in their AFL clash at the Gabba on Saturday night after aggravating an Achilles complaint.

He may be the Lions' most experienced player with a career that spans 15 seasons but it seems nothing has prepared Lappin for his latest drama.

"Even with a one week injury Nige gets very, very frustrated so you can imagine what this is like - he tends to dwell on it," Lions assistant coach Paul Hudson said.

"He's been talking to a lot of people in trying to deal with this.

"We've got resources within the club."

Lappin remains on an injury list that on Friday claimed Travis Johnstone (hamstring) and Justin Sherman (back).

They have been replaced by Cheynee Stiller and Lachlan Henderson.

Key forward Daniel Bradshaw (hamstring) is still not fully fit.

But clearly Hudson was concerned about four-time All Australian Lappin.

"It's one of those injuries where you just don't know, unfortunately," he said.

"That's been the nature of his injury. With an Achilles you don't know if it's a week (but) it might settle down quickly."

Asked if time was running out for Lappin, who is off contract at the end of the season, Hudson said: "There's no pressure from the club at all.

"He's been a tremendous ambassador and the way he prepares himself is A-1.

"I think he's just got to play the year out (and) see how it is.

"I'm sure the club will support him next year if he feels that he's capable of playing."

Lappin missed the entire 2006 season with a broken ankle.

He was solid last season but hit the ground running in 2008, averaging 18 disposals a game before disaster struck in round four.

At the other end of the spectrum, first year player Tom Collier will become the third Lion to make his AFL debut this season on Saturday night.

The teenage defender - who has overcome hamstring tightness - may not have played a senior game but he has already earned major raps.

Hudson - a former Hawthorn player - compared Collier with Hawks great Michael Tuck.

"He's a mature kid. He reminds me of an old teammate Michael Tuck - a little wiry but just gets the job done and provides some run," Hudson said of the No.25 pick in the 2007 AFL Draft.

Collier, 19, captained Tasmania in the U18 National Championships last year and will replace the injured Jason Roe.

Hudson said the seventh-placed Lions (7-5) were desperate to atone against fifth-placed Adelaide (8-4) after their 63-point last-round thrashing at the hands of the Western Bulldogs.

"I personally think it was a hiccup. The guys have more pride than that - they will attack the players with some vigour," he said.

Adelaide have won their last three games against the Lions - including two at the Gabba.

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