Brown ready for Lions' AFL return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brown ready for Lions' AFL return

Darren Cartwright 20/05/2011 04:21:53 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane AFL coach Michael Voss has ruled out deviating from his normal game plan against North Melbourne at the Gabba on Saturday night and will bench his courageous skipper Jonathan Brown when the time calls.

Voss said he would closely monitor Brown, returning after an eight-week layoff with nasty facial injuries and bringing with him the chance for the Lions to end their embarrassing losing streak and notch their first win of the season.

However, Voss said to preserve his gun forward, he had two options.

"Conditioning is not an issue. It's whether the match condition has an effect," Voss said before training on Friday.

"We'll monitor that through the course of the game and he'll play deeper at times to give him a blow.

"We'll rotate him (off the bench) as normal, but it won't be abnormal rotations.

"He's been training with some of the coaches and the feedback we're getting is that he is in really good shape."

Brown sustained multiple fractures to his face during a marking contest in the opening round with the Lions in a strong winning position against Fremantle.

They lost that match and every game since.

His return has been salivating for Lions' fans and his "first-up" form is exemplary, giving more reason for Voss to rejoice at his availability.

Brown's most notable "first-up" game was round six in 2005 when - after serving a five-match ban for belting Port Adelaide's Josh Carr in the 2004 grand final - he took 14 marks and kicked eight goals in a match-winning display against Essendon.

"It certainly helps your cause (that he is playing). There is no doubt about that," Voss said.

"You always want to be not reliant on your star players to be able to get us results, but the fact is that is why they are good players, because they help you get it.

"I'd love for him to take 16 marks, kick eight goals and look like he owns the footy, but that's certainly not the expectation.

"Nor should he expect that of himself."

Brown completed the last training session at the Gabba without any sign of concern for his fitness or his injury.

Voss said any doubts Brown might have had about his fractures were put to bed in a sparring session at the local gym.

"The last five or six weeks, he has been able to run and do everything," Voss said.

"He's built on courage.

"He was in the boxing ring last week and asked for a couple of punches to the jaw just to test it out."

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