BROWNLOW medallist Lachie Neale will continue to ramp up his pre-season on Saturday, playing big minutes in the club's practice match against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.

Neale is on the comeback from a calf niggle sustained a few weeks ago.

The prolific midfielder played half of the Lions' intraclub last Friday night and coach Chris Fagan said that would progress against the Suns.

"He'll pretty much play the whole game tomorrow," Fagan said.

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"By the end of the day hopefully he's playing 75 to 80 per cent of game time, that's the progression for him.

"He's training really well and it looks like he's not too far away from being in great shape."

Skipper Dayne Zorko is expected to have a similar workload following a modified pre-season.

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One Lion that won't play on Saturday is new recruit Nakia Cockatoo, who is still recovering from a strained hamstring.

Fagan said the former Cat was not far away, though.

"When you get a new player to your club you've got to learn a bit about his body and what sort of loads he can take, and we've got a lot of good feedback on that the last four or five weeks.

"He's on a good pathway, he's in good shape at the moment and running really well.

"He'll be introduced to skills this week and whether he's one enough work to be in-line for selection in round one, only time will tell.

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"We're happy with where he's at."

Fagan confirmed untried midfielder Ely Smith and Irish defender James Madden would both get a chance in Brisbane's 25-man team.