Gold Coast have been dealt another massive blow to their backline with intercept defender Charlie Ballard ruled out for the final month of the season with a medial collateral ligament injury.
Ballard collided with teammate Sam Collins in Saturday's Q-Clash, causing his right knee to buckle, with the club confirming the youngster's season is now over.
The 23-year-old was putting together an impressive campaign that had flown under the radar for many, ranking in second place in the league for intercept marks with 58, just three behind leader Paddy McCartin.
The Suns could look to utility Jy Farrar to fill the third tall void left by Ballard, while veteran Brandon Ellis could be forced to shift down back for the final stage of 2022.
Meanwhile, the Brisbane Lions have also ruled out a pair of youngsters for the season, with Carter Michael and Tom Berry suffering shoulder injuries in the VFL over the weekend.
The club have confirmed that both players will undergo surgery.
Daniel Rich is also out for this weekend's clash after being placed in the league's concussion protocols after the 32-year-old was subbed out against Gold Coast after copping an accidental knee to the head from Levi Casboult.
In positive news for the Lions, young speedster Keidean Coleman could return to the side after missing last week's clash with hamstring soreness.