Lions in double injury blow, Power’s Duursma sidelined
May 1, 2023 / 10:34 pm
Brisbane will be without veterans Dayne Zorko and Daniel Rich for their huge clash with Carlton, while Port Adelaide midfielder Xavier Duursma has been sidelined for up to 10 weeks with a knee injury.
The Lions’ big win over Fremantle came at a cost with Zorko straining his hamstring and Rich suffering a calf strain, with the pair sidelined for three weeks through injury.
To coach Chris Fagan’s relief, the silver lining for Zorko is the strain is to his left hamstring and not his right – which he injured during the pre-season and ruled him out of round one.
The pair’s absence is a blow for fourth-placed Brisbane, who travel to face sixth-placed Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
Fagan was prepared to mimic Geelong’s cautious approach to senior players, like their careful management of Patrick Dangerfield last year, to ensure Zorko and Rich were primed to make an impact when it mattered.
“We’ve got to be smart about it and Geelong were terrific, the way they managed their players last year, there’s no doubt about that,” he told Fox Footy.
“If we get to week three and it’s touch-and-go whether he should play or not, I think the decision is don’t play. It’s as simple as that.
“We won’t be taking risks with those guys. You’ve got to develop depth in your squad and their absence will give the opportunity for some other guys that have been playing well in our reserves.”
Duursma has torn his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and will be out for eight-to-10 weeks.
The 22-year-old hurt his knee in a heavy collision with Saints ruckman Rowan Marshall and was emotional when he had to be subbed out of the game during quarter-time.
He had played all seven games this season after only featuring 22 times in total across 2021 and 2022.
But Todd Marshall will return from concussion against Essendon.
Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe could return from his troublesome foot injury against Hawthorn.
The Dockers confirmed Fyfe, who has played just one game, was a “test” to either play at AFL or WAFL level.
“Nat’s foot pulled up really well from a step up on the weekend,” Merriman said.
“He will be main training this week, with a plan for him to play football this weekend.”
Talented young defender Heath Chapman is set for an extended stint on the sidelines after injuring his hamstring when he was on the verge of returning from a calf injury.
“Unfortunately for Chappy, at the back end of last week’s training session he had an incident and it ended up being a moderate to high-grade hamstring injury,” Merriman said.
AAP (C) 2023
A hamstring strain will keep Dayne Zorko out of Brisbane’s AFL clash with Carlton in Melbourne. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)