Lions skipper a chance to play against Eagles

BRISBANE Lions captain Tom Rockliff is set to climb off the canvas and play against West Coast at the Gabba on Sunday, just three weeks after suffering broken ribs and a punctured lung.

The 25-year-old is back running at full pace after the round-one collision with Magpie Travis Varcoe and could return this week with the aid of protective padding.

Stand-in skipper Daniel Rich said he would be reluctant to see Rockliff (pictured) come back too early.

"Knowing him, he'll be pretty keen, but I think he'll have to tick a few boxes during the week in terms of the contact and that side of things to make sure he's ready," Rich said.

"His health and wellbeing is more important than coming back a week early.

"He's done everything he can so far. He's a tough bugger to go through that."

Meanwhile, Brisbane chief executive Greg Swann has admitted there was little chance young midfielder James Aish would remain at the club next year.