The youthful Brisbane Lions see Jonathan Brown as important to their growth but won’t pressure him to play on after another scary collision.
Jonathan Brown’s teammates aren’t putting any pressure on the battle-scarred Brisbane Lions great to play on after his latest head knock.
Brown admitted at the weekend that he was weighing up a mid-season retirement following his collision with Greater Western Sydney defender Tomas Bugg at the Gabba.
The former club captain, facing concussion tests and sporting a shiner, is unlikely to make the trip west to play Fremantle in Perth on Saturday night.
While the young Lions would miss their power forward, vice-captain Tom Rockliff stressed Brown shouldn’t feel he needs to rush back.
“He’s got to sum up what’s best for him,” Rockliff said on Monday. “Footy’s only one part of life that lasts for 10-15 years if you’re lucky.
“He’s got a lot of kids to look after, he’s about to have his third, and a wife down the coast, so obviously it’s a decision for him to make and more a family decision than a footy question.”
Rockliff said it would be sad both for the club and Brown if the triple-premiership winner couldn’t play out the season.
“It’s vital for him to hang around for us for our young developing group, but if he decided to call it a day, then that’s his decision and we’d stick beside him whichever way he goes,” the midfielder said. “To be honest, there’s been no talk of that in the change-rooms. He seems really in high spirits and quite well.”
Rockliff admitted it was “scary” to see Brown again felled by a head knock, but denied the incident was a major factor in Brisbane’s 45-point upset loss to the Giants.
The Lions, coming off wins over Carlton and Western Bulldogs, trailed by only a point when the 32-year-old was taken from the Gabba.
“I think (the fade-out) was always panning that way,” Rockliff said. “They came to play and caught us on the hop.
“I thought we got a bit complacent as a group and didn’t come out with the same intensity as the two weeks before.
“We are a young group so it’s just another learning experience.
“I don’t think it was the forward line that was the issue, we got smashed around the footy and through the midfield.”