Third time unlucky for Lions rookie - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Third time unlucky for Lions rookie

By Laine Clark 24/02/2009 08:45:49 PM Comments (0)

Officially he may no longer be part of the Brisbane Lions, but premiership-winning midfielder Nigel Lappin is still making his presence felt at the AFL club.

The ex-Lions champion and current Geelong assistant coach has provided timely words of encouragement for Pat Garner after the Brisbane rookie was ruled out for 2009 following his third knee reconstruction in five years.

It was a case of third time unlucky for the 21-year-old who faces a 12 month rehabilitation after undergoing surgery last week.

"I was very close to Nigel Lappin, and he's been through a lot of injuries so he's given me a lot of great advice," Garner told the Lions website.

"Initially I was very upset but I took a couple of days.

"And I have also had a couple of chats to (football manager) Gubby (Graeme) Allan, Vossy (coach Michael Voss), Craig Lambert, Chris Johnson and Luke Power, who were all great."

The Lions announced on Tuesday that Garner was told the horror news by a specialist after hurting his right knee during the pre-season.

But Garner said his knee had been a concern since the end of last season during a stint for the Lions reserves.

"I hurt it during the year but I still kept on playing on it, so it just became a little bit frayed over time I think, which may have caused it to become a bit weaker," he said.

The Lions recruited the key position player with pick No.27 in the 2004 national draft, but he is yet to make his AFL debut.

Garner said he would seek work away from football during yet another intensive rehabilitation.

"Obviously footy is pretty much what I love doing so I don't really want to give that up," he said.

"It's just another little hurdle on the way I suppose."

It was another disruption for coach Voss as he prepared for his first year with the Lions reins.

Brownlow Medalist Simon Black will miss the entire pre-season after breaking his hand at training.

The Lions have also been distracted by young forward Rhan Hooper being fined $40,000 for persistent and serious breaches of his playing contract.

And midfielder Albert Proud had been suspended by the club after being charged with assault from an alleged glass-throwing incident on the Gold Coast.

But the Lions have still won through to an NAB Cup quarter-final clash with Essendon at Telstra Dome on Friday night.

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