No Lions comeback for Lappin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No Lions comeback for Lappin

By Laine Clark 23/09/2008 03:04:21 PM Comments (0)

He once played an AFL grand final with cracked ribs.

These days triple premiership winner Nigel Lappin is flat out running after his kids.

No wonder the 32-year-old knocked back an offer by new Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss to come out of retirement.

"The Brisbane Lions advises that former co-captain Nigel Lappin has declined the offer from new senior coach Michael Voss to come out of retirement and play with the club in season 2009," a Lions statement said.

"Nigel appreciated the offer but stands by the comments he made at his retirement media conference in August."

The four-time All Australian played just 22 games in three seasons, including four in 2008 before succumbing to an Achilles injury.

An unorthodox fitness test told the Lions veteran in no uncertain terms that the Achilles complaint was not going away.

"It made some improvements towards the end of the season but ... I went for a 500-metre run the other day and it pulled up really sore," Lappin told AAP.

"I was jogging to catch up with someone. Actually it was the kids.

"My body is feeling good but my Achilles is still not good and that's the disappointing thing."

It was frustrating for a player who demanded a lot from his body - as evidenced by his inspirational four-quarter effort in the 2003 final nursing cracked ribs.

"You always give (coming back) thought. It's what you know and what you have always been good at," said Lappin, a veteran of 279 AFL games.

"But I've played 20 (sic) games over the last three years. As much as you don't want to, you start questioning your body and then you start questioning a lot of other things.

"If you do that, you find it hard focusing on the footy."

The Lions co-captain announced his retirement in August after being sidelined for 17 weeks with injury and at the time expressed disappointment that he did not end his career on his terms.

The veteran of 15 years of senior football said he was flattered that Voss had asked him to reconsider retirement.

But a heart to heart with his former teammate on Monday night put things in perspective for the Lions champion.

"I had a chat with `Vossy' last night about a few things," he said.

"It's great that he wanted me to play, but with age - (Richmond's) Matty Richardson aside - most (veteran) players don't get better.

"You get to a point where you get really frustrated with the way you are playing and with injuries and that's where I have been."

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