Black ready to fill leadership vacuum - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Black ready to fill leadership vacuum

By Jim Morton 28/03/2011 09:57:43 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane star Simon Black has put up his hand to return to a leadership post as the Lions face a captaincy vacuum with the devastating loss of Jonathan Brown.

Brown on Monday afternoon successfully underwent surgery for multiple facial fractures following Saturday night's ugly collision with Fremantle defender Luke McPharlin and is expected to be sidelined for "at least" two months.

Scans also confirmed versatile key position player Brent Staker required season-ending knee surgery, and will go under the knife on Tuesday.

"The news from the surgeon regarding Jonathan was very positive," Lions football manager Dean Warren said of Brown.

"The surgery was successful, he's in good spirits and we expect him to be released from hospital in the next day or two."

Jed Adcock looms as Brown's likely replacement as captain ahead of full-back Daniel Merrett after being given the makeshift role as a stand-in skipper late last year.

Adcock and Merrett are the only two 2010 vice-captains who remain in the Lions' six-man leadership group after both Black and fellow veteran Luke Power volunteered to step back.

The triple-premiership midfielders decided to take the role of mentors to the club's large number of youngsters, and Voss has called Tom Rockliff, Josh Drummond and Mitch Clark into his leadership group.

But Black, 31, conceded his experience may be required with Brown sidelined and Drummond, the next oldest official leader at 27, still a fortnight away from returning from injury.

"I'm obviously happy to do that," the 2002 Brownlow Medallist said on Monday.

"I haven't spoken to Vossy as yet but more than happy to be back in the leadership group if the club wants it.

"Jed and Daniel Merrett have been sharing (the captaincy) in NAB Cup games and have been doing a good job so I'm not too sure how that will unfold at the moment."

Black was a co-captain for two seasons under Leigh Matthews in 2007-08 before Voss took over and made Brown the sole skipper in 2009 with Black and Power deputies.

Black visited Brown in hospital on Sunday and reported he was in good spirits despite the initial pain of the blow, which he said could have resulted in six fractures.

The 275-game midfielder likened the "unusual" injury to that of James Hird when he copped an accidental knee from Essendon teammate Mark McVeigh against Fremantle nine seasons ago.

"The extent of the damage was unique and probably not too dissimilar to the James Hird facial injuries that he got over at Subiaco a few years ago," he said.

"For the big fella to be able to walk off the ground shows ... just how tough he is."

While Mitch Clark will now receive more time in the goalsquare, Aaron Cornelius comes into the selection frame as a key forward while Matt Maguire is the likely man to replace Staker in defence.

"Brent has had an outstanding pre-season and he was ready to demonstrate that fitness on the field," Warren said of Staker.

"I'm sure that while he is bitterly disappointed he will recover strongly from this setback."

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