Brisbane coach Chris Fagan says the Lions are ‘morally obligated’ in their battle against Covid-19

Marco MonteverdeNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan is relieved the Lions’ battle with Covid-19 came at the “right time” – during the club’s Christmas-New Year break.

While other sporting clubs have been hit hard by the virus, the Lions’ schedule has hardly changed since returning to training last week.

Fagan said about one third of the club’s 44-strong playing list had tested positive to Covid-19.

“A fair majority of those were over the Christmas-New Year break, so it didn’t really affect the group training,” he said on Monday.

“Our guys that have had it, got it at the right time.

“Probably last Monday was maybe our session when we were biggest-hit. We might have had four or five guys not here, but they were back by the middle of the week.

“We had one missing today (Monday), but he’s due back tomorrow (Tuesday) … they’ve timed it well.”

Despite some clubs believing a mass outbreak among players was better in the pre-season rather than during the season proper, Fagan said the Lions were “morally obligated” to doing everything possible to “not get it” and “not spread it”.

Brisbane Lions AFL Coach
Camera IconBrisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan (right) is relieved preparations for the new season remain on track despite the ongoing battle with Covid-19. John Gass Credit: News Corp Australia

“That’s the approach we’ve taken,” he said.

“Whether that’s wise or not in terms of having everybody available when the season starts, I’m not sure, but we’ve got to look after each other.

“There are people in our own club that have got children, that have got loved ones who might be immune-deficient, and we don’t want to be the cause of things spreading that don’t have to spread.

“Whether that’s too noble or not, I’m not sure, but that’s the way we’re going about it.”

Fagan predicted another “challenging” season because of Covid-19.

“You live in hope that you don’t want to go through it again, but the reality says we will,” he said.

“Fingers crossed we’re through the worst of this and coming out the other side by the time the season starts, and we can have a relatively normal season without too many changes to the fixture.”

Fagan said former number one draft pick Cam Rayner, who missed the Lions’ entire 2021 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, was set for a round one return.

“You wouldn’t know he had a knee injury,” he said.

“He’s doing everything now. He was a little bit modified before Christmas.

“We just didn’t want him to do any competitive work or too much change of direction, but now he’s doing it.

“You always look at those guys or watch them in training and when they change direction you close your eyes and then have a bit of a look to see if they’re OK when they come out, but he looks fine.”

Fagan said key forward Eric Hipwood, who suffered a similar injury in July last year, could return in late May.

“(The) end of May is probably a reasonable time frame for him to get back if he doesn’t have any hiccups,” he said.

Originally published as Brisbane coach Chris Fagan says the Lions are ‘morally obligated’ in their battle against Covid-19

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