Deledio return huge for Tigers: Eade

As comparisons go, it’s one that Richmond star Brett Deledio will happily accept.

Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade says the Tigers getting Deledio back from illness for Sunday’s AFL clash is like the Suns having Gary Ablett back on their books.

Deledio missed last week’s loss to Adelaide, where his absence was keenly felt, but the Tigers will be boosted by his return for the MCG visit by the Suns.

Eade didn’t mince his words when asked about the impact the 28-year-old forward will have on the contest.

“The stats have proven if he plays they generally win, or the percentages are high that they win,” Eade said.

“It’s like having Ablett in the side, isn’t it? You can’t replace class.

“He’s obviously a very good player. An A-grader. It’ll be good for them.”

The Suns suffered a setback on Friday when defender Trent McKenzie hobbled off with a hamstring injury at training.

McKenzie was immediately ruled out of the Tigers clash and will be replaced by Clay Cameron.

The Suns have also included Josh Hall and Jarrod Garlett for their trip south.

Garlett’s season appeared over when he underwent ankle surgery in May but Eade confirmed the draftee will play against the Tigers.

“He’s two or three back now in the NEAFL and brings a bit of speed to the group,” he said.

“We’re probably not the quickest team in the comp at the moment with all our midfielders out but we see him really as a bright part of our future.

“He’s worked extremely hard to get himself back after the ankle operation.

It’s as much a reward for that but also for the future of him, get a few more games in to the end of the season and then he can hit the ground running over the pre-season.”

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