Gold Coast key defender Rory Thompson faces a battle to prove his fitness for the Suns' AFL season opener against Richmond on Saturday.
Thompson underwent hip surgery in the off-season and is in doubt to make the clash with the Tigers at Metricon Stadium.
While the Suns are poised to hand debuts to Jack Martin, Clay Cameron and Sean Lemmens, coach Guy McKenna said it was less clear-cut over Thompson.
"A long shot, but certainly not a line through his name," McKenna said when asked about Thompson's availability.
"He had a good week of training and we have to balance up how hard we push him conditioning wise or do we give him another week on the training track to get fitter for the rest of the season."
Another player unlikely to feature against the Tigers is midfielder Karmichael Hunt.
The rugby league convert has had a disrupted pre-season amid speculation NRL clubs are hovering to try and lure him back to the 13-man code.
McKenna said a fit and firing Hunt was still very much part of his plans despite the rumours his AFL career could be over.
"K's already shown on a very limited pre-season the value he can add to us in the midfield," McKenna said.
"He's a different midfielder to Jaeger O'Meara and Gary Ablett. His hardness, his ability to repeat tackle, his ability to stay strong over the football is an important ingredient of an AFL footballer.
"When he's fit and in form and warrants selection, he'll get picked."