Ablett back to boost Suns
GARY Ablett headlines a raft of inclusions for Queensland’s two AFL clubs as they fight to avoid the wooden spoon.
Ablett joins skipper Steven May as one of five changes to the Suns side to play Fremantle in Perth tomorrow.
For Brisbane, club champion favourite Dayne Zorko returns from suspension for their clash with the Bulldogs at the Gabba tomorrow while Dan McStray has overcome a shoulder injury.
The Lions recalled Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry and Eric Hipwood who were rested for the trip to Perth last week with the stated aim of freshening them up to attempt to win at least two of their last three home games and avoid the wooden spoon.
Suns coach Rodney Eade said he hoped Ablett’s return from a hamstring injury for the longest road trip in the AFL might put an end to criticisms he picks and choses when he plays.
Ablett has missed the past two matches, and four of the past six, with hamstring problems but boarded the Suns’ flight to Perth late yesterday after sailing through a fitness test at Metricon Stadium.
“I think going to Perth puts to bed that theory that he just wants to play at home,” Eade said.
Ablett’s future remains up in the air given he has not ruled out either retiring or once again requesting a trade.
However, Eade says he believes there is little interest from Geelong in luring the former Cat premiership player home and said he expected him to play his footy Suns next year.
He said he did not think it was possible Ablett could regain the level that saw him universally considered the best player in the game in his first four years at the Suns but believed he was capable of continuing in the form he demonstrated during the middle part of this season.
“He’s 33, so his best form, when was that? When he was 29 or 30 years of age? He’s probably not going to play to that level, it’s very hard for anybody,’’ he said.
“But the form he’s displayed this year, if he has a reasonable run with injuries, you think he’d be able to maintain what he’s been able to do this year.
The Suns were forced into other changes with Jarrod Witts ( shoulder), Callum Ah Chee ( shoulder), Brayden Fiorini ( hamstring) and Ben Ainsworth ( knee) all injured in last week’s loss to Richmond.
Veteran Michael Rischitelli is being rested after playing three matches in his comeback from a knee reconstruction. at the