GOLD Coast Suns are reeling from news top draftee Izak Rankine will miss the start of the season with a hamstring injury in the latest injury setback for the AFL club.
Scans have revealed the teenager suffered a tendon tear in their recent preseason clash against Sydney at Lismore.
The No.3 pick will reportedly be sidelined for eight weeks and miss the Suns’ first six games in a blow that closely follows key defender Rory Thompson’s season-ending ACL rupture.
“Unfortunately, after a strong pre-season, Izak strained his hamstring during a chase down tackle in the game against the Swans,” Suns physio Lindsay Bull said on the Gold Coast website.
Sean Lemmens (ankle) will also have surgery and miss up to eight weeks, while Aaron Young also suffered a foot and ankle injury and could miss the start of the season in what is becoming a horror pre-season for second-year coach Stuart Dew.
Thompson, Lemmens and Young were likely part of Dew’s first-choice side, while 18-year-old Rankine was poised to force his way into the reckoning after showing plenty in the preseason.
The South Australian’s ability to manufacture a goal from nothing had already been on show in the pre-season.
But given his game is built around pace and explosiveness, the Suns will tread carefully with the teenager’s recovery.
“Given the specifics of Izak’s injury, the explosive nature with which he plays the game and where he is at in his career, we’ll take a responsible approach with Izak and make sure his rehabilitation is thorough and sets him up well moving forwards,” Bull said.
© AAP 2019