LACHIE Neale's lingering back injury is no excuse for his slow start to the season.
The reigning Brownlow medallist said he "won't go into detail" about the injury, but conceded he was not 100 per cent.
Through Brisbane's 1-3 start to the season, Neale is averaging just 22 disposals, well down on last year's 26 in shortened games.
He said the biggest frustration was his inability to train during the week.
"I've put my hand up to play the last few weeks and been able to get through the games," he said.
"Once you do that, you're deemed fit. I'm sure there's a lot of guys carrying injuries around the comp.
"The thing it's affecting the most is my ability to train consistently.
"That's the most frustrating part, but I'm able to play, that's also an important thing."
Neale said the injury was not getting worse and he expected it to "get better pretty quickly".
Brisbane needs his form – among others – to improve quickly, starting with Saturday night's match against Essendon at the Gabba.
"I'm not playing my best footy at the moment, but feel like I'm getting towards that," he said.
"We're going OK (as a team). We're not at our absolute best.
"We're still really confident in our group and our ability. The season's very very early.
"We're not in any panic stations."