BRISBANE: Gary Ablett has revealed advice from his legendary father was pivotal in the tough decision to scratch himself from the rest of the AFL season.
Speaking for the first time since having a shoulder reconstruction, Ablett told Suns TV that Ablett Snr's own experience had helped him opt for the season-ending operation three weeks ago.
The Gold Coast captain had been told he could avoid surgery, strengthen the joint over a month and then return for the last three regular-season rounds.
But his surgeon warned there was an 80 per cent chance of dislocating his shoulder again.
"I went away, I spoke to family and friends and I spoke to my Dad who's had a dislocated shoulder before and kind of spoke about what he went through," Ablett said.
"I got in contact with a few other people I know that have done the same thing as well, and we spoke about the short-term and also the long-term."
Ablett, who has been sorely missed by the fading Suns, admits he hates watching on the sidelines but knows it was right decision to go under the knife.
"I guess I didn't want to be running around in those last three weeks, running around at 50 per cent and worrying about if my shoulder is going to pop out again and also thinking about the long-term, as well," he said.
"Obviously the rest of my football career and life after football as well, so in the end it was an easy decision to make."
Since they lost the then Brownlow Medal favourite, the Suns have suffered telling upset losses to the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions to have fallen out of the top eight to sit 10th.
They are level with both Adelaide and Collingwood on 36 points but have an inferior percentage of 96.
Coach Guy McKenna has denied Ablett's absence has had a mental impact on the Suns, who have never won in seven matches without their superstar skipper.
McKenna has pointed to their ability to overcome the Magpies, when Ablett was injured in the third quarter, as proof they could win without him.
Although not on the field, the Suns are using Ablett's expertise in the coaching box, assisting midfield mentor Matthew Primus.
"I've got the chance now to be around the football club and kind of play my role and do what I can to hopefully get the boys to some finals football and just looking forward to that now," he said.