Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew says the loss of Ben King to injury is a big blow but is backing the forward to return from the ordeal stronger than before.
The Suns are priced at 11/2 to finish in the top eight of the AFL in 2022 but they will have to do it without their leading goalkicker after he was ruled out for the entire season.
King will not play a game in 2022 after rupturing his ACL during match simulation in training last week and Dew says the incident was hard for everyone to take in.
King was thinking about the team, not himself, in the aftermath of the injury and Dew says that speaks volumes for what kind of person he is.
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"Any time you see someone go down it's hard to see," Dew told AFL.com.au. "You just feel for him that he won't be able to test himself this year.
"When I saw him after, he apologised. He was like 'sorry I'm not going to be able to help the team'.
"That shows where his mindset is at, he's a pretty unselfish player. He'll turn this into a positive and come back a better player."
Dew now has to come up with a way of replacing King in the campaign ahead and admits they will have to get creative.
But he is seeing it as a positive rather than a negative and will work on one or two things in the pre-season games against Port Adelaide and Geelong.
"Clearly, he (King) was going to be a prominent figure there," Dew added. "We've got to turn it into a positive and be a little more unpredictable.
"Some guys will have an opportunity to step up. We can go a bit taller or a bit smaller, those guys are having a good pre-season. We've got some decisions to make."
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