Lions star to miss Swans opener
Brisbane head coach Chris Fagan has confirmed Darcy Gardiner will miss round one of the AFL season as he continues to battle back from knee surgery.
Gardiner initially picked up the injury in training at the end of last season and he was forced sit out the preliminary final defeat to Geelong, with what the Lions thought was bone bruising.
However the problem continued to linger on and it was decided that Gardiner needed minor surgery to clear out the knee.
Hopefully that has done the trick but Fagan says it is still unlikely he will be ready for the round one showdown against Sydney Swans.
"We thought he was going to be right for the Grand Final if we were able to get through the prelim," Fagan said. "Right at the moment it doesn't look like he'll be right for round one."
However Fagan does not expect the 25-year-old to miss too much of the season and he could in fact be back for round two.
"He's a heart and soul player," Fagan added. "I expect him to be available by round two or round three, but we've just got to get the running loads into him.
"We could put Darcy out there and he'll play with all the heart he usually plays with, but we want to make sure he's had enough running into his legs before we do that."
Gardiner is crucial to the Lions defence when forming a strong partnership alongside Harris Andrews, and it is no surprise that Fagan will want him back as soon as possible.
The Lions are priced at 7/1 to win the AFL grand final.
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