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Key defender Jack Payne doubtful for Lions and Blues AFL finals conflict in enhance for Carlton

Jack Payne stays doubtful for the Brisbane Lions’ preliminary ultimate towards Carlton after the important thing defender was once more restricted to gentle duties as a consequence of an ankle damage.

Payne wore a moon boot after their qualifying ultimate win over Port Adelaide and hasn’t skilled since; the imposing again saved to gentle working in joggers at Tuesday’s open coaching session in Springfield.

The 23-year-old has turn out to be one of many Lions’ most essential gamers this 12 months, filling the void left by retired Marcus Adams in an important partnership with Harris Andrews in Brisbane’s final line.

He matched up properly on back-to-back Coleman Medallist Charlie Curnow within the sides’ solely different conflict in spherical eight this 12 months, limiting the total ahead to only one purpose.

Darcy Gardiner, pushed out of the AFL squad by a resurgent Ryan Lester this season, shapes because the possible alternative if Payne cannot show his health.

“He is clearly acquired a bit little bit of a sore foot and ankle,” Andrews mentioned earlier than Tuesday’s session.

“He is performed a very very important half for us this 12 months, so fingers crossed he is proper to go.

“His improvement’s been unreal for us as a bunch and , I really feel like this 12 months we have needed to present that we have nice depth.

“Guys like Darragh Joyce and Darcy Gardiner. These guys can are available in and play their function.”

Gardiner has performed simply two AFL video games this season — each losses to Adelaide and Hawthorn — damage permitting Lester the prospect to steal his place within the again six.

He offers away about 10kg and 4 centimetres to Payne, however the 27-year-old boasts 156 video games of expertise as a daily within the Lions’ defence since 2014.

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