Ablett returns to Suns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ablett returns to Suns

Laine Clark 22/06/2011 07:12:54 PM Comments (0)

A cloud remained over Gary Ablett despite the skies clearing enough for the Gold Coast Suns captain to fly back to Queensland on Wednesday night.

Questions were again raised about the concessions allowed to Ablett by the Suns after his flight out of Melbourne on Tuesday was cancelled due to the Chilean volcanic ash cloud.

Ablett had scheduled a stopover in Melbourne following the Suns' weekend loss in Launceston to Hawthorn but flight chaos ensured he missed Wednesday's main training session on the Gold Coast.

Ablett trained with Melbourne-based Suns staff members on Wednesday before flying out for the tourist strip.

"Good solid training session today.... Had to train in 2 jumpers haha. Forgot how cold it gets in Melbourne!" Ablett tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

The disruption is hardly ideal ahead of the Suns' home clash with Western Bulldogs on Saturday.

And it is not the first time Ablett's game preparation has raised eyebrows.

His professionalism was questioned after missing a round three game - coincidentally also against the Bulldogs - with calf soreness following a Melbourne stopover.

Brownlow Medallist Shane Crawford was among the big names who questioned Ablett's commitment in April.

But Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft leapt to Ablett's defence after the latest drama.

He reiterated the club's policy that encouraged players to spend time with family and friends after matches near their home.

Tasmanians Maverick Weller, Luke Russell, Sam Iles and Jacob Gillbee had permission to stay on after last Saturday's loss to Hawthorn in Launceston - but they flew back to Queensland on Sunday night.

Ablett stayed in Melbourne for another 48 hours before being caught short by flight cancellations.

Even the Suns' opponents Western Bulldogs heeded advice by the AFL and flew out to the Gold Coast on Tuesday afternoon.

"As we do with a number of our players, we sat down with Gary over a month ago and planned for him to return to Melbourne if he was cleared fit by our medical team after our game against Hawthorn," Ashcroft said.

"Our policy is in place as we believe it is healthy for players and staff to be able to spend time with family and friends throughout the season."

Meanwhile, Suns coach Guy McKenna said exciting rookies David Swallow and Zac Smith would run out against the Bulldogs after recovering from ankle injuries.

Both missed the 71-point loss to Hawthorn.

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