Rischitelli out for Suns' clash with Freo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rischitelli out for Suns' clash with Freo

Laine Clark 30/06/2011 07:06:34 PM Comments (0)

A trip across the Nullarbor is never easy.

But the journey has been made tougher for the Gold Coast Suns after losing hardworking midfielder Michael Rischitelli for Saturday's AFL showdown with Fremantle.

Suns' assistant coach Ken Hinkley confirmed on Thursday that the Brisbane Lions' 2010 best and fairest had succumbed to a groin complaint, suffered in last round's gutsy loss to Western Bulldogs.

"We'll miss Rischitelli but, hopefully, that's only a one-week injury and we get him back for next week," he said.

"It's more precaution for us than anything.

"We know they've got a long season ahead of them, our older boys, and we want to make sure they're there for most of those games."

Rischitelli is just one of several changes for Saturday's game - Nathan Krakouer, Tom Lynch, Maverick Weller and Charlie Dixon have been replaced by Sam Day, Trent McKenzie, Brandon Matera, Daniel Gorringe and Seb Tape.

While the Suns are sweating on Rischitelli's return, the jury is out on when the likes of ex-Port Adelaide half-back Krakouer and No.2 draft pick Harley Bennell will run out again in Gold Coast colours.

Krakouer has been dropped for the second time this season after just 12 touches against the Bulldogs.

He was sensationally omitted earlier this season for fitness-related issues.

However, a big talking point on the tourist strip has been WA-born midfielder Bennell.

While no one doubts his talent, Bennell is out of favour after twice being ousted due to disciplinary reasons.

And he faces a fourth weekend on the sidelines since skipping a compulsory training session.

Bennell was part of the team which travelled to Perth to take on the West Coast Eagles a month ago - but returned to the glitter strip 48 hours after he had agreed.

His actions have clearly angered the Suns' leadership group.

Hinkley said Bennell will return as soon as the leadership group believe the 18-year-old is "buying into our program".

"That's their call. The boys have got Harley's best interests at heart and I'm sure they're trying to do the right thing for him," he said.

"They'll make him available for selection as soon as they see fit - as soon as they know Harley is buying into our program.

"From everything that we've seen so far, he's really jumped on board and he's doing really well.

"His form in the seconds has been really good - (reserves coach) Shaun Hart is really pleased with the way he's going about his training.

"He's really made some changes about the way he goes about things and I'm sure the boys will recognise that shortly."

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