BRISBANE has been dealt a savage blow with defender Darcy Gardiner to undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old will be hopeful of returning by the end of the season or possibly finals with the club setting a timeframe of 12-14 weeks.
Gardiner dislocated his troublesome right shoulder in Saturday’s QClash win over Gold Coast and was assisted from the field. He has previously dislocated the same shoulder twice.
Gardiner saw a surgeon on Tuesday and with his history, decided to strengthen the joint through surgery.
It is another loss for a Lions backline that will also miss experienced Ryan Lester for two weeks with a hamstring injury.
Brisbane hosts Richmond at the Gabba on Friday night before another home game against GWS the following week.
Gardiner is a mainstay of the backline, able to take both tall and medium-sized forwards.
He missed the opening three rounds of the season with a knee injury that first kept him out of last year’s preliminary final loss to Geelong.
Jack Payne - who replaced him to play the Cats - is still a couple of weeks away from returning following a foot injury.