Suns sensation steps up return

11 February 2021 19:46:15 GMTPlus11

Gold Coast ace Matt Rowell will continue on the road to recovery from shoulder surgery when he plays in his first match simulation on Saturday.

The No.1 draft pick dislocated his shoulder in just his fifth senior game against Geelong in the 2020 AFL season and has been on the comeback trail since.

The player's willingness to work hard in training and come back stronger than ever has earned him much praise, and now he will take the next step on the road to being ready for round one.

Rowell is expected to play just over a quarter of footy at the weekend and Suns coach Stuart Dew admits they have adopted a cautious approach with the player.

"It's not cotton wool, but we're just mindful that he's had such a big off-season, he was so determined to get it right, he's done all his shoulder rehab so well," Dew told "It's been different for him.

"He hasn't missed a lot of footy (previously), but it's been great for him to learn about his body more and not just be the guy that can play football really well.

"I think this will help him throughout his career, he's really aware of what his body needs from a recovery point of view and workload point of view."

It is no surprise that excitement is building over his return to action. The 19-year-old may have played just four full games in 2020 but he earned the maximum Brownlow Medal votes in three of them.

The Suns are priced at 60/1 to win the AFL grand final.

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