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'No timeline' on Fev, says Voss

Laine Clark 20/01/2011 08:01:42 PM Comments (0)

The line has all but been drawn through Brendan Fevola's name for the 2011 AFL season after Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss revealed there was "no timeline" on the troubled star's recovery.

There were plenty of birthday wishes to Fevola - who turned 30 on Thursday - from Voss but no word on when, or if, the former Coleman Medallist would run out again.

"I was aware it was his birthday and I would hope the boys have sent their best wishes through - it is something we want him to get through," Voss said.

"(But) he's in for a long journey.

"At the moment we are planning for it to be an extensive time away from the football club.

"There are things that he has to deal with, that's going to require time.

"I wouldn't expect to see Fev around for quite a period of time - there's no timeline."

It had initially been hoped that Fevola would be released this month from a Brisbane rehabilitation clinic.

He is being treated for alcohol and gambling issues after taking indefinite leave following his New Year's Day arrest.

While Voss said Fevola was making progress, he was counting on his star recruit being released later rather than sooner.

"It is a waiting game," he said.

"We have been led to believe there will be a little bit more time spent there - we will respect that.

"He is certainly making strong progression. He is spending some time away (from the clinic during the day) which is good for him.

"But he is still in care at the moment and that is our focus - his welfare.

"Like everybody, most want to find out (when he will be released) but ...there's a lot of ground to cover before we can come to any conclusions."

Voss said the Lions were already preparing for life without Fevola, with regular ruckman Mitch Clark groomed for the vacancy in the forward line.

"Mitch Clark is more than ready to step up and do that," Voss said.

"It gives room for (ruckman Matthew) Leuenberger to be able to develop.

"And that certainly gives us the ability for Mitch Clark to have a chance to consolidate that position which is where we always hoped that he would finish up."

Charges against Fevola of public nuisance and obstructing police have been adjourned until February 1.

Meanwhile, Voss said another recruit Xavier Clarke should know on Friday whether he required a full knee reconstruction - therefore ruling him out for the 2011 season - after a "freak mishap" at training on Tuesday.

Sadly the running utility sat out the entire 2009 season with St Kilda due to a serious knee injury.

"When everyone saw him go down, they were hoping it was just a bit of a bump but when we realised it was fairly serious you couldn't help but be a bit upset," Voss said.

"Especially when a guy does everything right and has influenced our place in such a short period of time - he's a class character."

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