BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan has revealed the extent to which a "brave" Joe Daniher was hampered by a shoulder injury in the second half of last season.

Daniher suffered a "soft tissue injury" to his left shoulder against Sydney in round seven, but he and the club opted to strengthen it rather than have surgery.

Although Brisbane talked it down as a problem for the remainder of the year, the lanky forward was clearly hampered and underwent surgery during the off-season.

Speaking to, Fagan outlined what Daniher went through after returning against St Kilda in round 13, from which time he missed just the semi-final win over Melbourne to be at the birth of his first child.


"His shoulder would pop out once a week at some point in time, whether it be in the game or at training," Fagan said.

"It was a very brave effort by him to continue to play because he was putting the team first.

"He wasn't putting his own reputation first because he couldn't play at the level he really wanted to."

Statistics show the drop-off after the injury.

Daniher was being touted as a potential All-Australian through six rounds where he'd kicked 19 goals and taken 16 contested marks.


The 12 games following his return yielded 20 goals and just eight contested marks. The same physicality and aerial presence that punctuated the opening weeks was only sporadically on show.

The 28-year-old had a moment to remember in the Lions' thrilling elimination final win over Richmond, kicking the go-ahead goal with 70 seconds remaining to give his team victory.

"It was a mighty effort by him to get himself up to play every week," Fagan said.

"I'm sure he was probably mentally exhausted at the end of the year from doing it.

"Up until round seven … he was flying, playing really good footy. Hopefully we can get that for a full 22 rounds and finals."


Despite Fagan's defence of Daniher, it wasn't a totally rosy off-season review for the former Bomber, being told in his exit meeting he needed to work harder without the ball.

Although the coach said Daniher was "not the only one" that got that feedback, it appears to have struck a chord in the early part of the pre-season.

When Brisbane returned to training in early December, he was reduced to running lap of the club's new Springfield facility while his shoulder continued to get stronger following surgery.

"He's pretty fit because he's done a lot of running," Fagan said. "He's in good shape and we expect he'll improve in that part of the game."

Daniher has competed in the past three match simulation sessions for the Lions, taking strong overhead marks and moving well around the ground.