Jack Payne handballs during Brisbane's preliminary final against Geelong at the MCG on September 16, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

BRISBANE has the depth to cover the possible absence of Jack Payne for Saturday's preliminary final against Carlton, says co-captain Harris Andrews.

Payne has been battling an ankle injury and was restricted to light duties at the Lions' open training session at Springfield on Tuesday.

He will be given every chance to retain his place, but is in serious doubt after completing a handful of ginger run-throughs and some stationary handballing in 45 minutes of training before he hit the rooms.

Darcy Gardiner in action during the R13 clash between Brisbane and Hawthorn at the MCG on June 10, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Veteran Darcy Gardiner looms as the likely replacement after being held out of Brisbane's VFL team that lost its semi-final at the weekend.

Speaking prior to Tuesday's session, Andrews said he had total confidence in whoever lined up alongside him in defence.

"We've got full trust in Dizz (Gardiner) if he comes in, or Darragh (Joyce)," he said.

"We've gone away from having those really tight matchups to playing in a system.


"There's a really clear understanding within our backline group what needs to be done in each role.

"We've got full trust that anyone that comes into the team can play that role."

Payne has been a revelation this year, playing 23 games and keeping dual Coleman medallist Charlie Curnow to just one goal when the teams met in round eight.

Gardiner's season has been arguably the toughest of his 10 in the system, playing just two senior games during an injury-riddled campaign.

Andrews said whether Payne played or whether Harry McKay returned from concussion for Carlton would have little difference to the Lions' approach.

"They've got a really dangerous forward line," he said. "I'll prepare for all those guys to come in.

"The mids and forwards have done a great job limiting supply. If we can continue to put pressure on around the ball then it will limit that supply and make our jobs a little bit easier."

Forward Jack Gunston, who hasn't played since round 22 after suffering a knee injury, bolstered his chances for selection with a strong training session.