KATE Lutkins' best on ground performance in Saturday's NAB AFLW Grand Final triumph is even more remarkable, given the midfielder has been playing under severe duress thanks to a painful foot injury.
The 32-year-old revealed in the aftermath of Brisbane's 18-point win over Adelaide she tore the plantar fascia in her left foot in round eight.
She will undergo surgery a week after the Grand Final to repair not only that injury, but to clean up damage in her right foot.
"I'm pretty stubborn and I really don't want to miss games," Lutkins said after the game.
"The health staff got me through … they're incredible the way they treat us.
"I want to get up each and every week and they do absolutely everything they can to help us.
"It's just pain really … it's just a foot."
The Lions had to contend with captain Emma Zielke suffering a high hamstring injury early in the third quarter, which left the veteran in tears on the bench.
Zielke later announced her retirement after 41 AFLW games.
"It was really unfortunate for 'Zielks' and I really feel for her that she didn't get on in the last quarter," Lutkins said.
"She was there with us anyway, spiritually, and we regrouped and adapted.
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"This year has been all about adapting and overcoming and playing what's in front of you, with everything to do with COVID.
"We just got on with the game."
Adelaide stand-in captain Angela Foley will have scans on Sunday morning to determine how badly she damaged her left knee when she landed awkwardly in the third quarter.
Foley's knee buckled dramatically in the incident and she was distraught after being helped from the field.
"Until the scans come in, you don't want to speculate," Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke said.
"She's pretty upset, understandably. It's a big swing in 24 hours, yesterday was that anticipation of what could be and the realisation of so much hard work over many years, to lead her team out today.
"Footy can be a bit cruel sometimes. Injuries are the cruellest part of the game.
"We'll get around her and support her and we hope for the best, but we'll wait and see."
Gun midfielder Erin Phillips was quiet by her standards on Saturday, which was partly to do with the strong performance of her opponent Breanna Koenen.
Clarke admitted the 35-year-old had been playing with pain in her reconstructed knee for around six weeks and had barely trained during that time.
He added the decision on her future in the game would be left up to her.
"She's had a tough six weeks, even going back to the Brisbane game in round four," he said.
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"She's been managing her body and pushing it beyond its limits.
"She's such a competitor it's impossible to dissuade her from doing that.
"She didn't have her day today but she's forever a champion of our game.
"It's a decision for her to make. She's experienced enough to weigh up what's required to be at the level and will make that call in due course, but there's no rush."
Meanwhile, Lions coach Craig Starcevich said Phillips should be honoured with naming rights on the Grand Final's best on ground medal, which she won in 2017 and 2019.
"She's been a star of the comp and really we should be naming the medal after Erin Phillips down the track," Starcevich said.
"I think that's logical.
"She's had a massive impact on the comp and her legacy should be acknowledged."