THE BRISBANE Lions' spluttering pre-season took another hit on Sunday, with coach Justin Leppitsch confirming star midfielder Dayne Beams would be out indefinitely with knee tendinitis.
After recovering strongly from off-season shoulder surgery, it was hoped Beams would be right to play West Coast in round one, but those hopes have now been dashed.
The midfielder recently picked up the tendinitis and has struggled to train with the main group.
Leppitsch said last year's best and fairest winner would likely miss a month, and in reality had no specific timeframe on a return.
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"Beamsy won't play round one and I am not sure past that, it could be another couple of weeks, it could be a month," Leppitsch conceded.
"It is a bit uncertain the end date, unfortunately.
"It is frustrating. It can be something that can be fixed quickly in a couple of weeks or a month, but he hasn't had the training to play the first couple of games.
"You've got to put a month of conditioning on top once the long term injury is fixed, otherwise they will hurt something else."
Beams is not the only concern for Leppitsch ahead of the season start.
Teenage duo Jaden McGrath (shoulder) and Rhys Mathieson (face) were both injured in Sunday's 39-point loss against GWS, while vice-captain Dayne Zorko was also reported for striking Giants' skipper Phil Davis.
On top of that, captain Tom Rockliff (hamstring), midfielder Allen Christensen (finger) and small forward Josh Green (foot) will go into the match against the Eagles without a pre-season hit-out.
The midfield mix still looks strong with Rockliff and Christensen likely to partner Daniel Rich, Pearce Hanley and Mitch Robinson, but Leppitsch said there was some thinking to do.
"That's three players who haven't played that we have got to think about selecting for round one," he said.
"It's just how many of those boys we want to put in against West Coast knowing we have a six-day break after that back here for North (Melbourne)."
McGrath has a grade-one shoulder injury after a heavy collision with Toby Greene, and would be in some doubt, while Mathieson was being scanned for a possible fractured cheekbone after what appeared a high bump from Jeremy Cameron.
The Lions had their moments against the Giants, with Rich and Zorko particularly impressive, but turned the ball over too much in the slippery conditions.
They also looked a bit short of a run after last week's match against St Kilda was washed out, giving them just one match in the four weeks leading up to the premiership season.