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Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan wants a steady rather than spectacular AFL comeback from Cam Rayner

Lions coach Chris Fagan has urged “excited” Brisbane star Cam Rayner not to overplay his hand in his AFL return on Saturday night.

Former No.1 draft pick Rayner missed all of Brisbane’s 2021 campaign last season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in a pre-season trial.

As a result, Fagan said Rayner was “jumping out of his skin” to take on Port Adelaide at the Gabba this weekend.

And while thrilled about the return of a key member of his team, Fagan wants Rayner to play within himself in his AFL comeback.

“All he’s got to do (on Saturday) night is play his role,” the Lions coach said about the forward/midfielder.

“He doesn’t have to play the house down – he’s just got to play his role.”

Rayner played in the first of Brisbane’s two pre-season trials, impressing in the Lions’ 89-point thrashing of the Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium, the same venue where he injured his knee a year earlier.

“(It) was a bit of a traumatic day for him,” Fagan admitted.

“(But) he got through that game and played well.”

However, Rayner missed Brisbane’s next trial, a six-point win over the Western Bulldogs, due to his father being ill.

“Now that his dad’s well he’s jumping out of his skin to play. It’s almost given him another outlook on life,” Fagan said.

“He’s excited about playing.”

The Lions hope to continue their recent dominance of Port Adelaide, having beaten the Power in the teams’ past four meetings.

“We seem to play some of our best footy against Port for some reason or other,” Fagan said.

“We’ve mostly played them here, which is a bit of an advantage.

“I’d nearly put it down to that as opposed to anything technical or tactical we necessarily do against them, because they’re a team that challenge you in every way.”

Rayner isn’t the only Lion returning after a long-term absence, with defender Noah Answerth having been named on the interchange bench after recovering from a groin injury.

Skipper Dayne Zorko is also set to play after missing the Lions’ two trials due to minor surgery on an Achilles problem.

Match Robinson has also been named after recovering from a bout of Covid-19.

“He’s probably in the best shape he’s been (for a) pre-season for while,” Fagan said of the wingman, who in previous years had struggled with calf injuries in the lead-up to seasons.

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