AFL Rd 16 - GWS v Brisbane
AFL Rd 16 - GWS v Brisbane

Knee concern leaves Lions star in doubt

Brisbane's impressive victory over GWS Giants could come at a cost with key forward Eric Hipwood in doubt for the club's Round 17 clash with Port Adelaide.

Hipwood hobbled through Brisbane Airport in a leg brace after picking up a knee complaint at the weekend and is no guarantee to be named in coach Chris Fagan's Round 17 squad.

 

 

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The 21-year-old is set to undergo scans on Tuesday with Lions fans facing a nervous wait ahead of the club's second top-eight clash in as many weeks.

Zorko backed his teammate to tackle the Power at Adelaide Oval and remains confident of a full recovery.

"Eric's good, he was able to play the game out which I think was a really encouraging sign," Zorko said today.

Losing the in-form Hipwood would be fell blow for Brisbane's finals aspirations given the club's lack of tall forward depth and Fagan will be crossing fingers and toes for his young gun to showcase his toughness yet again.

Eric Hipwood is in doubt for Brisbane Lions’ clash with Port Adelaide. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images.
Eric Hipwood is in doubt for Brisbane Lions’ clash with Port Adelaide. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images.

The Lions coach was impressed by Hipwood's resilience after twisting awkwardly in the opening minute against GWS and told his full forward as much following the game.

"I gave him a pat on the head after the game and said 'that's nearly the best game you've played'. He laughed at me but it's true in a way," Fagan said.

"To become a team that can compete against the best, you've got to have guys in your team who will play through pain. He did that, maybe for the first time in his career, and he did it really well."

Brisbane would be forced into a complete forward reshuffle if Hipwood fails to prove his fitness but Zorko remains steadfastly focused on the job ahead.

The four-time club champion was taken aback by the welcoming media scrum outside Brisbane Airport and says his side have plenty to work on despite having broken their five-year Giants drought.

"I've never seen it before, so it's certainly different from our end," Zorko said of the Lions' growing entourage.

"(Beating GWS) was an important win for us as a football club.

"We hadn't beaten them for five or six years so its certainly great to be able to go on the road an put in a pretty good four quarter performance together.

"All we can do is just keep executing what we can do. We worry about what's getting said on the outside, we just focus in on what Fages and the coaching group give us every week and perform to the best of our ability.

"We're in no position to start looking further ahead than Port Adelaide this weekend."



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