Top draftee Rowell needs shoulder surgery
Last year's No.1 draft pick Matt Rowell will miss most of the rest of Gold Coast's season with a shoulder injury.
The absence of the teenage midfielder, who will have surgery next week, will be a big blow to the Suns.
Rowell hurt his shoulder in a heavy tackle from Brandan Parfitt in last weekend's 37-point defeat to Geelong and he is set to be sidelined for at least three months.
The 19-year-old has already been voted best afield in the AFL Coaches' Association's player of the year award in three games this season.
In Round 2, in just the second game of his AFL career, he was voted best on ground in the 44-point win over West Coast.
Rowell was also awarded the round 2 AFL Rising Star nomination for his 26-disposal, two-goal performance.
Last month, he signed a two-year contract extension to remain with the Suns until the end of 2023.
Gold Coast football operations boss Jon Haines said that the decision to undergo surgery was made in consultation with specialists, along with Rowell and his family.
"This is the first real injury that Matt's had in his whole career so it was a new experience for him," he added.
"Ultimately it was a decision that Matt had to make so we had to make sure that we laid all the evidence and all the research and all the information out for him and his family to consider and for them to make an informed opinion."
Rowell, who has captivated the AFL this season with his hot form, has joined the Suns in Wollongong for their stint in NSW. Gold Coast will face Melbourne at Giants Stadium on Saturday before meeting Sydney at the SCG the following weekend.
Gold Coast are 29/20 to win their next game against Melbourne, who are 29/50.
The Suns are 91/100 with a 5.5-points start.
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