Ablett in doubt for Manuka clash
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Gary Ablett of the Suns leaves the field after being injured during the round four AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns at The Gabba on April 21, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) Photo: Chris Hyde
Fears of a Fremantle AFL backlash were the least of Gold Coast's worries as it sweated on the fitness of captain Gary Ablett.
Suns' assistant Ken Hinkley yesterday said he did not expect a fiery grudge match at Metricon Stadium on Saturday despite the Dockers' angry reaction to Gold Coast players' tweets.
However, Hinkley was not so certain of an Ablett comeback date. The Brownlow medallist could be out for another three weeks, meaning he would miss the clash against Greater Western Sydney at Canberra's Manuka Oval on May 12. The stage was set for an explosive clash this weekend after Fremantle coach Ross Lyon accused Gold Coast of being disrespectful following tweets by Ablett and Suns' midfielder Trent McKenzie.
In round one, McKenzie drew their ire when he backed Geelong's Matthew Scarlett for decking Fremantle forward Hayden Ballantyne.
But Lyon appeared to be pushed over the edge when Ablett tweeted Fremantle tagger Ryan Crowley was a ''joke'' for using negative tactics on Carlton's Chris Judd last Friday.
However, Hinkley said yesterday: ''I doubt if there will be a player on Saturday afternoon when they are going for the footy who will be reading Twitter - I reckon they will be going after the footy.
''We are the second youngest team in the competition.
''We respect everything about this competition, not just Freo. We are grateful we are actually in it.''
Hinkley could not predict when Ablett would return despite the captain initially hoping to run out against Fremantle.
''Gary will get ready when he is ready. We can't afford to rush that - we've got too much invested. AAP