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Aussie Rules: Fagan backs Zorko for round one

Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan is confident Dayne Zorko will be fit and raring to go for round one of the AFL season after undergoing a minor ankle operation.

The Lions are priced at 7/1 to win the 2022 AFL grand final but there have been doubts over whether Zorko would be ready to start the campaign following an interrupted pre-season.

Ankle issue

Zorko has hardly figured in the Lions' four intraclub hit-outs, playing just one half of footy, and he will also sit out the next two practice matches against Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs.

The Lions ace underwent a small operation to fix an ankle issue last week and Fagan says he will sit out the next two games as a precaution more than anything else.

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"The main thing is the operation itself was very minor, but there's just the wound healing, so you've got to watch out for infection," Fagan told reporters.

"That's why we've been careful to not run him too quickly. He'll ramp up more next week. I don't think he'll play against the Bulldogs.

"We'll have our own little hitout the week before round one, which I think he'll play and he'll be right for round one. That's the plan for him."

Solid base

Zorko is showing no signs of slowing down despite being 33 years old and Fagan says the solid base he has built up over the years will help him get up to speed pretty quickly.

"He's got 10 years behind him, so he's got this great core of work he's done," Fagan added. "I've found over the years that the older guys don't necessarily need as much prep over the pre-season because they've got that base.

"He'll have a three-week prep coming into round one, which, on the back of all the other stuff he's done, I think he'll be fine."

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