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Brown expects to play Eagles

By Jim Morton 16/07/2008 06:39:18 PM Comments (0)

Lions kingpin Jonathan Brown has told Brisbane teammates he expects to play against West Coast but there is less optimism surrounding fellow co-captain Simon Black.

Both Brown and Black remain in serious doubt for Saturday night's AFL clash at the Gabba after the pair played severely restricted roles at training on Wednesday.

Midfielder Black, who sustained a shoulder injury in the upset loss to Essendon, suited up and warmed up with his teammates at the Gabba but failed to reappear after a team meeting.

Spearhead Brown took part in light duties for just the first part of the session after copping a bad knock to the hip in the 37-point defeat to the Bombers last Saturday night.

Both Brisbane stars may well be named in the side on Thursday to be given until match eve to prove their fitness.

"It's still too early to tell," said midfielder Michael Rischitelli.

"Browny mentioned that he'd be right but Blacky is still 50-50 so fingers crossed he'll get through.

"Whether or not they do play they obviously leave a pretty big gap in the side but we're up for the challenge."

Although they are easily the club's two most important players, the Lions can take some solace they have performed well without them this year.

Both Black and Brown were missing when Brisbane met Geelong at Skilled Stadium this year and gave them a major fright before the defending premiers pulled away in the final quarter.

"They're a big help but we've proved, especially against a top side, that we can be damaging but we have to keep in the forefront of our mind that we have to keep that up for four quarters and not just three quarters," Rischitelli said.

Back-to-back away losses to Melbourne and Essendon have seen the seventh-placed Lions top four hopes go south after they jumped to an 8-5 win-loss record following victory over Adelaide in round 13.

Brisbane have lost ruckman Matthew Leuenberger for the season, placing extra pressure on sole ruck specialist Jamie Charman.

The improving Mitch Clark is set to double as the Charman's back-up at the centre bounces.

Slippery midfielders Albert Proud and Justin Sherman, and defender Jason Roe are in the mix for promotions from the reserves.

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