Star Sun set to rise for mile­stone game

Ablett poised to play his 300th game

The Observer - - SPORT AFL -

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.

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