Footy Focus 2013 - Garry Lyon on who you should keep an eye on at your club
The players to have a big year and will step up their performances from previous seasons
Key Melbourne defender James Frawley struggled with injury last year
I was disappointed with his year, but I've since learned that he carried three big injuries throughout the course of the season
MELBOURNE defender James Frawley has refused to use injury as an excuse for his performances in 2012.
Garry Lyon revealed on AFL.com.au's Footy Focus that Frawley played through serious injuries last season, but the Demon insisted he only did what most AFL players would do in the same situation.
"It wasn't anything that could stop me," Frawley said.
"I could train and stuff. You've got to push through it and I did what any other player would do for any other team."
Frawley finished ninth in the best and fairest last season but was not at his best during a difficult season for Melbourne defenders.
He was unwilling to reveal the extent or nature of the injuries he endured but admitted the plantar fascia injury suffered early in the season meant his foot was "sore".
Frawley described the injuries as "a few niggling injuries, nicks and strains that happen through the year" but it is understood he battled several leg injuries through the year that hampered his ability to reach top speed.
He missed round 20 against St Kilda with a quad injury but returned to play the final three games of the season and 19 matches in all.
Lyon said he was initially disappointed with the 2010 All Australian's season but had since heard Frawley had refused to miss games despite struggling with injury.
"I was disappointed with his year, but I've since learned that he carried three big injuries throughout the course of the season, refused to go and have them operated on, wanted to stay out on the field because of the parlous state that Melbourne were in," Lyon said.
"Big injuries too, I'm told. He's tough to be able to work his through it."
However, Frawley didn't want to use the injuries as an excuse.
"I suppose you just want to do it for your mates," Frawley said.
"They (the injuries) weren't anything bad and once you go out on the ground you declare yourself 100 per cent fit and want to perform.
"If I feel that I am healthy enough to get out there and nullify my opponent and do my job then I am happy to put my hand up and say I'm ready to go," he said.
Lyon is confident the star defender can bounce back to his best after his ordinary 2012.
"I think he's set for a really big year … and I wouldn't be surprised at all if at the end of the year we're looking at All Australian honours for him again," Lyon said.