David Swallow is optimistic of overcoming his heavily-swollen knee to lead Gold Coast in their home AFL opener against Fremantle.
The Suns co-captain was an early casualty in their one-point loss to St Kilda on Sunday after a collision, only to return in what proved a valuable makeshift forward-line role later in the game.
Relieved to be cleared of any structural damage on Tuesday, Swallow will be given time to prove his fitness to play the impressive Dockers at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.
The midfielder’s presence, even if it is again in the forward line, would be a massive boost for the Suns who took plenty of positives from their gut-wrenching defeat to the Saints.
Gold Coast also lost forward Ben Ainsworth in that clash with a knee injury, while defender Sam Collins will need to pass concussion protocols after a head knock in the desperate final stages of the loss.
Swallow was walking without crutches on Tuesday and, despite the diagnosis of “significant bone bruising and swelling”, is keen to play up this weekend.
“You’re never sort of sure with those sort of things, so to be a chance to play is really good,” he said.
“I’ll do everything … to give myself a chance to play.
“I want to continue that momentum, although we didn’t get the win, continue building and keep moving forward.”
Coach Stuart Dew said Swallow would have all week to prove himself, while he volunteered fit-again forward Nick Holman (back) as an obvious replacement for Ainsworth.
“You leave those (fitness decisions) later for guys like your captain but it does become an easy call in the end,” he said.
“We set the bar high and trust the medical staff.
“We know he’s a pro … I think it’ll be really clear if he’s ready later in the week.
“It would be (a big in against Fremantle); we really missed him in the first quarter (against St Kilda) but he was able to make up for it in other ways.”