Star Sun set to rise for milestone game
Ablett poised to play his 300th game
GARY Ablett’s hopes of playing his 300th game this weekend have been given a significant boost with the Suns midfielder successfully completing training yesterday.
Ablett is an almost certain starter for Saturday’s Round 15 game against North Melbourne after breezing through the club’s main training session for the week.
The 33-year-old was ruled out of last week’s loss to St Kilda due to a calf problem.
The cause of the issue was Ablett’s soleus, the muscle predominantly used while turning, but the dual Brownlow Medallist was moving freely at training, changing pace at ease and pivoting on both legs.
Ablett’s inclusion for Saturday’s game at Metricon Stadium will be critical for the Suns who sit in 14th with a record of 5-8 and two wins outside the top eight.
“He turned the corner on Monday and every progression that we have given him each day he has been able to get through pretty easily,” Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade said.
“Unless there is anything unforeseen or he wakes up tomorrow with some stiffness or whatever the case may be, he certainly got through well.”
Ablett starred in a tight loss to the Kangaroos in round six, when gathering 45 disposals including 27 contested and 18 clearances.
“He is very good when he has got the ball in hand,” Eade said. “His ability to pick the right option will help us as well.”
While Ablett is finally due to rack up the huge milestone, his co-captain Steven May will play game No. 100.
May, one of the original Suns after being selected as an NT zone selection, is set to sign a new deal to keep him at the club.
“I think he has the capability of getting to 250 if he keeps himself in pretty good shape,” he said.
“He’s certainly matured very quickly and I suppose the testament was my first year he didn’t get a vote to be in the leadership group, and then the second year he got the third or fourth most votes to be in the leadership group, so he grew really quickly and then through last year you could see he had leadership qualities.”
North Melbourne skipper Jack Ziebell is set to shake off a shoulder complaint to take his place in the Roos team.
Ziebell received treatment on his right shoulder late in last week’s loss to the Western Bulldogs but North coach Brad Scott expects him to lead the side.
Townsville ruckman Gold Coast Academy graduate Braydon Preuss, who had 63 hitouts in the VFL last week, wasn’t considered as he nurses a sore elbow.