THE BRISBANE Lions' horror injury toll has taken another scalp, with star recruit Dayne Beams' first season in Queensland likely to be cut short after he re-injured his sore shoulder in Saturday's loss to Geelong.
However, Lions coach Justin Leppitsch hopes that ruckman Matthew Leuenberger has escaped a serious knee injury after a knock in the first quarter of his side's 56-point defeat at Simonds Stadium.
Beams has carried a shoulder problem for weeks and was facing with the prospect of surgery before the year's end.
He was a late withdrawal for the round 17 loss to North Melbourne, and after the issue flared again in the second half against Geelong, it seems the 25-year-old will be put out on ice.
"It's looking unlikely he'll continue to play on 'Beamsy', given the fact it's the second time he's fallen on it and hurt the shoulder," Leppitsch said after the game.
"It's disappointing news but a bit par for course for us this year to have these things happen."
The Lions have been crippled by a lengthy injury list this season, but Leppitsch could at least take some comfort that Leuenberger may have dodged a serious knee issue.
The big ruckman twisted the knee in a marking contest and immediately called for attention, sparking fears of a ligament issue.
He came back on soon after, but was subbed out of the game at half-time with just one kick to his name.
"I'm not sure (how bad it is). Hopefully there's nothing internal," Leppitsch said.
"He couldn't run it out any more. It's good that he came back on, which shows surely it's not too bad."
Stefan Martin carried the ruck duties impressively in his teammate's absence, racking up 24 touches with 10 marks and 38 hit-outs.
Young defenders Harris Andrews (22 disposals, 12 marks) and Liam Dawson (19 disposals, nine marks) both stood up in the heavy loss, the Lions' 14th from their past 16 meetings with Geelong.
"Harris and Liam are both first-year players, they were terrific. It's exciting for our future. They're the players that our supporters are going to keep coming to see over the years, there's no doubt," Leppitsch said.
But the second-year coach remains frustrated by variable performances, particularly from his senior players, with the likes of Daniel Rich (19 disposals) struggling for impact in a quiet month.
"We're getting a lot out of our kids. We're getting some inconsistencies over our group," Leppitsch said.
"Daniel hasn't missed (many games), he's coming off a knee a long time ago, but hasn't missed a lot. There's some disappointing performances in every week."
Former skipper Jed Adcock stood up in attack, booting an equal career-high four goals, but former Cats small Allen Christensen struggled against his old club, gathering just 12 touches.
"I think it was a challenge for him, whenever you come back to your old team at their home venue as well, it's always a challenge and I think they welcomed him really well as they do Geelong," Leppitsch said.
"They are an experienced group and they know how to manipulate any situation. We want to get to that one day. I think he's glad it's over. It was a tough week for him."
The Lions face local rivals Gold Coast in the Q-Clash next week before taking on Carlton, in contests that could decide the wooden spoon.