Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett faces six weeks on the AFL sidelines after damaging a knee in a 45-point loss against Adelaide on Saturday.
Ablett suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in the opening quarter of Adelaide’s 19.11 (125) to 12.8 (80) victory.
The dual Brownlow medallist is expected to miss four to six matches in the latest injury to cruel his season.
Ablett, who missed 10 games earlier in the season because of shoulder surgery, hobbled off after his knee buckled from contact with a teammate in the Adelaide Oval fixture.
The Suns, despite the absence of their superstar midfielder, were plucky until being over-run in the last term with Tom Lynch (four goals) and Charlie Dixon (three goals) threatening to inspire an upset.
The tall attackers dominated an Adelaide defence depleted by the late withdrawal of key back Daniel Talia due to illness.
And Gold Coast onballer Harley Bennell collected an influential 28 disposals on return from a club-imposed suspension after being involved in a drugs controversy.
But Adelaide’s vaunted midfielders Scott Thompson (28 disposals), Patrick Dangerfield (31 touches) and Richard Douglas (22 disposals, two goals) overwhelmed the Suns to create enough opportunities for a fluent forward line.
Small attacker Charlie Cameron recorded a career-best haul of four goals while Eddie Betts and a strong-marking Josh Jenkins slotted three majors each in a win in front of 42,656 spectators.
Adelaide led by only nine points at three quarter-time but booted eight goals to two in the last term.
The Crows, now with nine wins, could rise to sixth on the ladder but will remain in the top eight regardless of other weekend results.