BRISBANE Lions defender Darcy Gardiner will miss up to eight weeks after injuring the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Scans on Monday confirmed the news after Gardiner landed awkwardly in a contest during Brisbane's match simulation session on Sunday at its pre-season camp in Hobart.
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There is nine weeks until the Lions' opening match against West Coast but football manager David Noble said Gardiner should be fit by then.
"We're hopeful Darcy will have recovered by the start of the season," Noble said.
"He will be able to remain active while in recovery."
Gardiner is fresh off the best season of his career, finishing fourth in Brisbane's best and fairest in 2018 despite missing the final two matches with a dislocated shoulder that required surgery.
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It's the first major setback of the Lions' pre-season.
Ruckman Stefan Martin sat out Sunday's hit-out after suffering ankle and back niggles during the pre-season but is expected to take part in Thursday's match practice, while Western Bulldogs recruit Marcus Adams (knee) is also close to a return to full training.