There will be no tattoo as promised, instead Brisbane’s Stef Martin plans to make a lasting impression on the field when the AFL returns next week.
The Lions ruckman tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the AFL’s opening round in March, an injury that was set to rule him out of action for up to 10 weeks.
But a whisper in the ear from the club doctor softened the blow and the 183-game veteran made the most of the competition’s extraordinary shutdown that followed.
He will be available to face Fremantle on Saturday week at the Gabba as the Lions (0-1) resume the task of consolidating last year’s second place regular-season finish.
“The second it happened I was really flat, but it was very good timing that the doctor had just found out the season was going to be put on ice,” Martin said.
“So he could allay some of my fears and whisper in my ear.
“I said to a few people if I don’t miss a game I’ll get a little tattoo, which I won’t because I’m a coward.”
The Lions were outplayed by Hawthorn in the opening round but have a run of at least four Gabba games to re-launch their season.
Martin, who continues to hold off the club’s younger ruck options as coach Chris Fagan’s first choice, is thrilled he will be a part of it.
“It would’ve been tough to watch from the stands,” he said.
“We’re all thinking it’ll be a very special season to perform well in, because of the small amount of adversity the league has suffered.
“So I’m lucky I’m able to get in there and roll my sleeves up and contribute.”