PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 04: Sam Collins of the Suns evades a tackle by Jack Darling of the Eagles during the round seven AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Gold Coast Suns at Optus Stadium on May 04, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Gold Coast Suns have confirmed a double injury blow as tall defender Sam Collins and midfielder Nick Holman are both set to miss extended periods with mid-section issues.

Collins was taken as a state league concession by the Suns after plying his trade at Werribee in the VFL in 2018, and quickly became an important member of a makeshift Suns defence that was struggling with the departure of co-captain Steven May and a season-ending injury to Rory Thompson before Round 1.

He played in the opening nine rounds of 2019 before suffering a hip injury that has kept him sidelined since. Although he was initially slated to return to action in the NEAFL within a fortnight last week, Suns head physio Lindsay Bull toldĀ that the femur is not healing to the expected timeframe.

“Unfortunately with Sam we’ve undergone some further testing at the six-week mark and we would have liked the swelling in the femur to have responded a bit better than what it has done,” Bull said in the club’s weekly injury update.

“So Sam will need a further period of de-loading before then we start to reload that bone moving forwards.

“Unfortunately that period of time looks like it will rule him out for the rest of the year.”

Holman had only missed one game prior to his absence, the Round 1 clash with St Kilda in March, since joining the Suns in the 2018 rookie draft after two years at Carlton and two more in the SANFL.

The surprise packet from Kyabram was averaging 14.4 disposals and five tackles in his 12 senior games this year before being struck down with a stress fracture in his back, last playing in the return clash with the Saints in Round 13.

“Nick’s had a stress reaction in his lower back unfortunately so that will take a period of time for us to de-load the injury and let it all settle down,” Bull said.

There is more positive news on the Suns’ injury front, though, with Sean Lemmens earmarked for a return while young top draftee Izak Rankine made a successful appearance in the NEAFL last weekend in his recovery from multiple pre-season hamstring setbacks.