Izak Rankine will miss the start of the AFL season. Picture: Dean Martin
Izak Rankine will miss the start of the AFL season. Picture: Dean Martin

Suns' young gun to miss start of season

IZAK Rankine's AFL debut will be delayed with Gold Coast's top draft pick set to miss the opening stags of the AFL season due to a hamstring injury.

The exciting small forward is expected to be out of action for six to eight weeks after injuring his left hamstring in the third quarter of Gold Coast's JLT Series loss to Sydney in Lismore on Sunday.

Suns physiotherapist Lindsay Bull said the club would take a cautious approach to his recovery given his age and the way he plays football.

"Unfortunately, after a strong preseason, Izak strained his hamstring during a chase down tackle in the game against the Swans," Bull said.

"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."

Gold Coast medical staff are unsure how long Aaron Young will be sidelined for after suffering an unusual ankle and foot injury against Sydney.

Izak Rankine of the Suns drops the ball during the 2019 JLT Community Series AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Western Bulldogs at Great Barrier Reef Arena on March 03, 2019 in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Izak Rankine of the Suns drops the ball during the 2019 JLT Community Series AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Western Bulldogs at Great Barrier Reef Arena on March 03, 2019 in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

"Aaron came on during the second half of the game on Sunday and unfortunately his lower leg has been caught in an awkward position in a tackle," Bull said.

"He's sustained some damage to both his ankle and his mid-foot in the incident, which is relatively uncommon.

"We'll commence his rehabilitation straight away and progression will be guided by his symptoms throughout the rehabilitation process."

Meanwhile, midfielder George Horlin-Smith, who rolled his ankle last week, and Nick Holman, who has battled back issues, will return to full training this week and be available for selection for Gold Coast's Round 1 game against St Kilda on March 24.

News Corp Australia


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