BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan is weighing up whether to bring Eric Hipwood straight back into the AFL next week as the Lions prepare to be without key forward Dan McStay.
McStay hobbled off with an ankle injury in the first quarter of Saturday night's 75-point win over West Coast, just six days after spearhead Joe Daniher suffered a shoulder injury that will sideline him for up to six weeks.
Scans cleared McStay of a broken ankle on Sunday, but the injury will be assessed again on Monday to determine how long he will miss.
"When it rains, it pours," Fagan said post-match.
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"If you are going to have injuries, you'd like them to be spread a little bit across the team and not have two of your best tall forwards out."
Fagan admitted McStay's injury "didn't look great", as the 26-year-old thumped his fist into the Gabba turf in frustration after leaving the field.
He went to hospital on Saturday night to get scanned.
The good news is Hipwood is available to return next week, just 10 months after rupturing his ACL against St Kilda last July.
Brisbane's VFL team will play a practice match against Gold Coast next weekend, while the seniors will travel to Adelaide Oval to play the Crows.
So, where will Hipwood play?
"I'll be guided by our medical people," Fagan said.
"The medical people do such a great job now with rehabbing players from injury.
"If they're really high-quality players you don't necessarily have to bring them back through the reserves.
"We'll see how we go.
"He’s been doing match practice at training for a month now. He's been doing competitive work for the same period of time and been running big kilometres, so we’ve got a decision to make there, but he’s in great nick."
Jack Payne, who played forward to replace Daniher, kicked a goal from his 12 disposals and provided a good lead-up target.
"I thought he showed a bit of promise," Fagan said.
"He'll be better for that experience. He's got some attributes and some weapons."
West Coast's stand-in coach Matthew Knights was generally pleased with his team's application, but said the Eagles were left wanting once the ball left the contested area.
"It became a bit tough in the end, but I thought the boys hung tough, they hung in there," Knights said.
"I think you could clearly see the group was up for the contest tonight and up for the pressure.
"We've got to keep establishing that and get more polished on the outside.
"We gave ourselves an opportunity to be in the game with our contested ball, our ground ball, our pressure, but we weren't able to establish anything on the outside or forward of the ball."
Knights said he had no clarity on how many of the club's injured players, or those in the health and safety protocols, would be available to play Melbourne next Sunday.