Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett’s miserable AFL season could be over after suffering a knee injury in a 45-point loss to Adelaide on Saturday.
Ablett tore the meniscus cartilage in his left knee as the Crows entrenched themselves in the top eight with a 19.11 (125) to 12.8 (80) victory.
Suns coach Rodney Eade says he’s tempted to write off Ablett’s injury-cruelled season, regardless of the outcome of scans on the dual Brownlow medallist.
“It looks like a meniscus … it’s on the medial side, which is better news, so you would think that would be three to four weeks,” Eade said.
Asked if Ablett would play again this season, Eade said: “We might just not worry about it.
“From our point of view there will be no pressure for him to play. We will just weigh it up at the time,” Eade said.
“If it’s not out for long and he’s confident and wants to go, that will be fine.
“We have lost our four best midfielders now to four different knee injuries – you wouldn’t read about it.”
Ablett, who missed 10 games earlier this season because of shoulder surgery, hobbled off in the first term of the Adelaide Oval encounter when his knee buckled after contact from teammate Matt Shaw.
Despite the loss of Ablett, the Suns produced a plucky display for three quarters but were over-run by a fast-finishing Adelaide in the final term.
The Crows led by just nine points at the last change but kicked eight goals to two to storm home in front of a parochial 42,656-strong crowd.
Adelaide’s triumph was largely created by midfielders Scott Thompson (34 disposals), Richard Douglas (25 touches, two goals) and Patrick Dangerfield (35 possessions).
The trio provided a feast of scoring opportunities for a well-oiled forward line headed by livewire Charlie Cameron, who slotted a career-best four goals.
Crows attackers Josh Jenkins and Eddie Betts also kicked three majors each to help overwhelm the Suns, whose performance was headlined by a standout display by Harley Bennell.
On return from a club imposed suspension after being involved in a drugs controversy, Bennell collected a game-high 38 disposals and propelled his team inside their attacking 50m arc on nine occasions.
Gold Coast’s tall attackers Tom Lynch (four goals) and Charlie Dixon (three goals) made the most of their chances but the Suns remain with just two wins this season.