More AFL players may get injured: Fagan

Brisbane's Stefan Martin (r) is set to return from an ACL injury when the AFL season resumes.
Brisbane's Stefan Martin (r) is set to return from an ACL injury when the AFL season resumes.

After being restricted to a handful of full-contact sessions, Brisbane coach Chris Fagan fears more players may break down with injury when the AFL season resumes.

Fagan said it had been frustrating working under training protocols put in place before the AFL re-start next week, namely the limited contact sessions.

This week teams will be restricted to two full-group contact sessions plus another where players must be limited to groups of six.

Next week they will have only one full-group contact session before playing their round two clash.

Teams are only in their second week of full contact training as they emerge from the lengthy coronavirus shutdown.

Asked if there could be player wear and tear this year due to limited preparation, Fagan said: "Injury rates could go up.

"We don't know. It's a great experiment this year to find out.

"We are all hoping it doesn't.

"We are doing as much as we can in our programs to mitigate that, allowing good recovery time between sessions, making sure we progress the load gradually and not too fast.

"So far, so good for us."

Fagan gave the Lions a near clean bill of health for their June 13 round two Gabba clash with Fremantle with just defender Marcus Adams (foot) unavailable.

He said his squad had emerged unscathed from a 40-minute practice game last Friday that featured ruckman Stefan Martin returning from a serious knee injury, with another 80-minute game planned for the week's end.

Fagan confirmed Martin would run out against the Dockers despite suffering a posterior cruciate ligament injury in their season-opening loss to Hawthorn.

"He's the first bloke ever to do an ACL (sic) and not miss a game in a season - he's a freak," Fagan laughed.

The Lions mentor also played down concerns for skipper Dayne Zorko who kept a low profile last week,nursing a sore Achilles.

But Fagan admitted he had no idea how his team would back up from their 2019 breakthrough in which they finished second and booked their first finals campaign in 10 years.

"It is going to be a magical mystery tour this season. I don't know what is going to happen but it will be interesting," he said.

"Up until two weeks ago I hadn't seen them so I haven't been able to do much work with them.

"The teams that are in the best physical condition are going to be at an advantage early and I don't know where we sit in that spectrum.

"I am hoping we are in good shape. I feel like we are."

Australian Associated Press