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Hipwood in doubt, Zorko good to go

Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  August 25, 2017 10:52 AM

Grown as a team and a club Chris Fagan says the team don't want the season to come to an end.

Eric Hipwood is in doubt, but Dayne Zorko has overcome a hospital visit and will play for the Brisbane Lions in Saturday's battle against North Melbourne.

Zorko picked up an infection to his left leg from a graze suffered in last Sunday's loss to Melbourne.

It forced the star midfielder to hospital, but after being named in the Lions' 22 on Thursday night, coach Chris Fagan says Zorko will be right to take on the Kangaroos.

"He spent a bit of time in hospital this week, was on antibiotics, on a drip," Fagan said.

"He got out middle of the week. He had a light session last night … he'll play tomorrow.

"Not an ideal week for him, but sometimes these things pop up. He's keen to play."

Zorko took part in a light training run on Friday morning at the Gabba with a brace protecting the infection, but moved freely when running and kicking.

The same couldn't be said for Hipwood though, with the young star battling a knee injury suffered against the Demons.

He too has been named, but barely got out of a jog on Friday.

"He may or may not play," Fagan said.

"He's trying like mad to get out there like you can imagine. He wants us to leave it until the last possible minute, so that's what we'll do.

"He's made a lot of improvement in the last couple of days.

"We won't send himself out there if he's any risk of hurting himself long-term."

Another young Lion desperate to play was first-year midfielder Jarrod Berry, who pleaded with Fagan to select him after two weeks on the sidelines with a foot injury.

"He sat in my office last night desperate to play and I said 'no'," Fagan said.

"I love that about him. That's the sort of guys we want at our footy club.

"There's still a little bit of doubt over his foot, and we don't want to turn that bone bruising into a stress fracture and he misses three weeks of pre-season.

"We're on about the bigger picture."

Fagan said he would be disappointed if the Lions finished with the wooden spoon, but was confident they'd made big strides in 2017.

He said the more experienced Kangaroos would be a difficult opponent.

"We're going to have to play very well to beat them, and I'm sure they're as desperate not to get the wooden spoon as we are."

"I don't think we go into the game as favourites.

"We have to be on the job and playing at full capacity to give ourselves a chance to win."

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