Merrett back for Brisbane Lions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Merrett back for Brisbane Lions

By Laine Clark 11/06/2009 07:32:05 PM Comments (0)

Proving his fitness shouldn't be a problem for recovering Brisbane Lions fullback Daniel Merrett.

Not with teammate Joel Macdonald around.

Merrett is set to return from an ankle injury two weeks ahead of schedule after being pencilled in for Sunday's AFL clash with Hawthorn at Launceston - much to Macdonald's relief.

Macdonald would be in the mix to line up against arguably the AFL's most fearsome sight - Lance Franklin - if Merrett is not passed fit.

Merrett completed training on Thursday but had said he would only play if he was "100 per cent confident".

No surprises then that Macdonald has offered his services to Merrett.

Indeed Macdonald is also prepared to get very cosy with another injured defender, Joel Patfull (jaw, two weeks), if it helps getting him back.

"I'm happy to get Patfull and Strawbs (Merrett) over and give them dinner and give them a massage, anything to get them back," Macdonald told the Lions website.

Especially after Macdonald was towelled up by Carlton's Brendan Fevola just last round.

"I needed a few days to clear my head," he said after conceding five second half goals to Fevola in the six point loss to Carlton at the Gabba.

"It was a bit of a shock. It's the most goals I've had kicked on me.

"He's the strongest player I've ever played on and I was sceptical of how I'd play on him and it took a while to figure it out.

"I was down and disappointed (afterwards). You live and you learn - I'd love another chance at him."

But Franklin is arguably a much scarier proposition than Fevola.

Certainly the Coleman Medallist's stats make for daunting reading for the Lions defence.

"Buddy" has booted 27 goals in seven games against Brisbane - including 14 in their last two.

Macdonald and the rest of his Lions team are sweating on the return of Merrett after their defensive stocks were further depleted by a calf injury to Josh Drummond against Carlton.

Another set to return for the Lions is tagger Troy Selwood who has not played since his sickening head clash with Richmond's Alex Rance in round seven more than a month ago.

Also named in the extended 25-strong squad were new faces Jack Redden and Tom Rockliff.

They will make their AFL debut if they make the 22 when it is finalised on Friday afternoon.

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