BRISBANE has suffered an injury setback with young defender Jack Payne to miss up to six weeks with a stress reaction in his foot.
Payne has played the first three games of the season, and eight in his career, and is viewed as a long-term defensive pillar, but will now have to watch from the sidelines.
The Lions are hopeful he could be back in closer to four weeks.
Payne's misfortunate is offset by the availability of reliable defender Darcy Gardiner for Saturday's clash with the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat.
Gardiner had pre-season knee surgery and has been halted by groin soreness in recent weeks, but is set to resume his place.
He will partner Harris Andrews and Marcus Adams in the key position roles against Bulldogs trio Aaron Naughton, Josh Bruce and Tim English.
Jarrod Berry is also expected to return to Brisbane's line-up after missing two weeks with a hamstring niggle.