Suns' top draftee set to be sidelined with back injury

GOLD COAST is likely to be without its first pick Alana Gee for the upcoming AFLW season.

In a significant blow for the Suns, it's understood the highly talented Gee has been battling a stress reaction in her back since reporting for pre-season training and is expected to be sidelined long-term.

Gee was the first Queensland-based player selected in last month's NAB AFLW Draft, selected to Gold Coast with pick No.19. However, recruiters believe the teenage midfielder would have gone top-10 in a national pool.

The dynamic onballer was viewed as a ready-made prospect for a rebuilding Gold Coast outfit, with the club initially touting her potential to play in the side's round one bout with North Melbourne on August 27.

(L-R): Cam Joyce, Alana Gee and Alison Drennan pose for a photo at the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft. Picture: AFL Photos

The Suns will already be without important defender Jade Pregelj for the upcoming season due to a knee injury, with Gee's setback potentially leaving the club with the ability to call upon another replacement player before the campaign.

Gold Coast finished last season with a 3-6-1 record, but had a busy off-season that was capped with the recruitment of Gee and Carlton's leading goalkicker from last year Courtney Jones.

AFLW DRAFT All the bolters, sliders and surprises

However, the club lost a series of important players – including captain Hannah Dunn, along with Cheyenne Hammond, Brittany Perry, Kate Surman and Jacqui Yorston – to expansion side Port Adelaide.

The Suns took three top-four picks from the Queensland portion of June's national draft, recruiting Gee along with inside midfielder Claire Ransom (pick No.34) and forward Jasmyn Smith (pick No.52).