Brown's fitness not a problem: Lions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brown's fitness not a problem: Lions

By Laine Clark 11/06/2010 06:45:13 PM Comments (0)

It seems Jonathan Brown's fitness is not a problem, unless Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss is asked about it.

Voss clearly couldn't hide his frustration on Friday over renewed speculation on Brown's availability for their weekend AFL clash with the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

It was revealed betting was suspended on the clash by bookmakers on Thursday following fresh concerns Brown would withdraw due to his well documented abdominal strain.

Agencies also shut down betting ahead of the Lions' round five clash with Melbourne following a heap of cash on the Demons and question marks over Brown.

Voss has been quizzed on Brown's fitness since.

And it seems almost two months of answering the same question has begun to irritate, judging by his body language on Friday.

"That's something different," Voss said when inevitably asked about Brown.

"We are going through the same protocols, and doing the same things (when assessing his availability) ... but it appears to be a pretty popular subject."

The Lions skipper had reportedly been asked last week to rest up against North Melbourne but refused.

He went on to play a role in the Lions' stunning comeback that fell one point short of hauling in the Kangaroos.

Asked if Brown's injury had regressed, Voss said bluntly "no".

Eyebrows were raised when goalkicker Aaron Cornelius was named on an extended Lions bench on Thursday night.

But Voss simply laughed off any connection with Brown's fitness.

"He was also an emergency last week," Voss said.

"He has warranted his position as an emergency - that's it."

Another hot topic had been the state of Etihad Stadium's surface following an ankle injury to Western Bulldog Shaun Higgins.

But Voss said he was just as unconcerned about that subject, despite the slippery surface's potential threat to key defender Daniel Merrett who comes back from a six-week hamstring injury on Sunday.

"I am not concerned. First the Gabba (surface) and now Etihad - it's a topic, it's getting good airplay," Voss said.

"I think we should be talking about it but I don't have any concerns about any of the surfaces in the AFL.

"The AFL monitors that and I am quite content that they are ensuring that we get the best surface possible."

Merrett will need to hit the ground running in his return after being matched-up with Bulldogs dangerman Barry Hall.

"There's no surprises there. He has played on him before," Voss said.

"He has won some battles, lost some battles.

"He is our best defender and he (Hall) is their best forward so I would have thought it would be a natural match-up."

But Voss did not rule out Brent Staker lining up at some stage against Hall, the man who infamously knocked him out two years ago.

"It would almost be like he would rather play on him just to make sure he could put to bed what has been said about him," Voss said of Staker.

"I am sure he will get a visit down there at some stage."

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