Jonathan Brown
Jonathan Brown

Brisbane Lions captain Jonathan Brown is on track to return to AFL football in Round Three against Fremantle.

Brown is confident of featuring in Brisbane's trip to Patersons Stadium as his recovery from a facial injury inflicted by teammate Matt Maguire's knee in a freak training accident continues.

"It's going really well," Brown said in Sydney on Thursday.

"I'm on track to play Round Three. It's pretty locked in. I've passed all my tests so far and I'm happy with it all."

Brown, who has completed almost all of the required fitness work ahead of the new season, admitted he will be short of match practice ahead of his return but the three-time Premiership player is not too worried.

"I've done pretty much everything (required), albeit training on my own," he said.

"I'm not really allowed to train with the boys so I don't get a stray ball or elbow in the face. (Training wise) it really hasn't affected me....the only effect is that I played the first week of the pre-season and that's it."

"So (I will be) a little bit short on match practice when I come back in Round Three but it hasn't really worried me in the past."

The 30-year-old was quizzed about wearing headgear but feels it wouldn't make sense, insisting that bad luck was to blame for his unfortunate sequence of injuries.

"It's not a head injury. It's facial so unless I was wearing a hockey mask it would be a little bit hard."

"Two out of three incidents were just innocuous football accidents. It could have happened to anyone. I'll put it down to bad luck. In two out of three instances, the only way I could have changed it is sitting in the grandstand and not playing."

Brown who is just two away from kicking 500 AFL goals feels that the Lions will improve in season 2012 but that finals talk is premature.

"We are still in a rebuilding phase. No question about that. We haven't even deserved the right to talk about finals. If everything went right for us, we could. But it's certainly something that's not on the radar for the club at the moment."

"I think we've improved over the pre-season. We still have got to find consistency. We've got some fantastic younger players coming through, we just need to compliment that with keeping our veterans out there which we've sort of lacked in the last couple of years."

"We've just got to start the season off well, (and) learn to be able to handle the pressure late in games, we lost far too many close games last year. We've got to try and get over that hurdle first and start winning more games at the Gabba."


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