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Confident Lions roll the dice on injured players

WATCH: Mid-tier Lions feeling the heat Nat Edwards and Dinny Navaratnam bring you an update on the Lions' pre-season

BRISBANE not only bet on the success of its medical team this past off-season, but it doubled down.

Since Peter Blanch came in as the head of medical at the Lions prior to the 2017 season – the same time as coach Chris Fagan and football manager David Noble – the club has had one of the best injury records in the AFL.

Wrack your brain and try to remember the significant injuries? It's hard.

Mitch Robinson (foot), Allen Christensen (collarbone) and Tom Bell (dislocated ankle) missed large portions of 2017.

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Last season Daniel Rich (ankle) and Harris Andrews (concussion) missed a month and Charlie Cameron missed three months after rupturing the Lisfranc ligament in his foot.

Teenage draftees Jack Payne (shin, the whole season) and Toby Wooller (hand, 12 weeks) were the only others to miss significant time.

Brisbane had a staggering 19 players who lined up for 18 matches or more last season. That's continuity.

Of course, it's more than Blanch. There's rehabilitation coach Selwyn Griffith and high-performance manager Damien Austin, who also have a large say in programs and measures that have kept the Lions on-field for the past two years.

There's also been some notable reclamation projects.

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Dayne Beams played just two games in 2016 after suffering a knee injury that ultimately required surgery.

He played 40 games in the past two years and made the 40-man All Australian squad just three months ago.

Christensen is coming off a 22-game season after suffering four successive collarbone fractures in the previous 18 months. He's as fit and strong as he's been since moving north from Geelong four years ago.

So it was no surprise to see Brisbane flex its medical muscles during both the trade and draft periods.

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It targeted quality players, but several players have brought with them injury concerns. And lots of them.

Former Cat Lincoln McCarthy has been dogged by hamstring-related issues over his career. but the Lions are confident a steady build-up targeted at strengthening his core and having him ready for round one – not the pre-season matches – will get him right.

McCarthy has played just five games since a breakout 2016 season and a total of 29 in the past five years.

There's also former Western Bulldog powerhouse Marcus Adams, who's been hindered by foot, ankle and shoulder problems.

However, the tick-off from the medical staff was all Noble and list manager Dom Ambrogio needed to pursue these trade targets.

Brisbane didn't stop at McCarthy and Adams as a show of faith in its healing hands.

Draft day also provided a mix of challenges for Blanch and his team.

Three of the Lions' five recruits come to the club with problems from 2018.

Academy product Connor McFadyen broke his foot and slid down the draft order.

West Australian Tom Joyce had a hip operation and missed most of the year, while Tom Berry brings a knee problem that curtailed his season.

The improved depth of the list means there's no rush for these players to progress.

Unlike previous years , when draftees Josh Schache, Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry and Cam Rayner have all been required in the first month of their debut seasons, there's no such pressure for this crop.

They might not even be required to play senior footy for the season.

It might not be the ultimate test for a medical group, but the acquisition of so many players clouded by injury is a huge show of a faith by the Lions.

Only time will tell how astute it is.