Gold Coast defender Wil Powell has suffered another injury setback and will miss the start of the AFL season because of a torn hamstring.
The 23-year-old missed the second half of last season following a horrific ankle injury in June and was back in training over summer.
But the hamstring injury, suffered while Powell was preparing for his first match simulation session of the pre-season, has thrown up another hurdle.
Scans revealed a grade three tear that will sideline the 2017 first-round draft pick for six weeks.
"He's done a fairly bad hamstring ... he starts running in a little while but it's a fairly substantial one," Suns football boss Wayne Campbell said.
"We were amazed how well he was going. He'd put in a power of work.
"With some of those gruesome ones they can take quite a bit of time, but he'd been training really well."
In better news for Gold Coast, Ben King and Lachie Weller are both on track for an early-season return as they ramp up their programs following serious knee injuries.
Highly-rated key forward King missed the entire 2022 season and is on track to be available for the practice match against Greater Western Sydney on March 4.
The Suns host beaten grand finalists Sydney in their season-opener on March 18.