Hunt to See Out AFL Season in Reserves

By Staff Writer    |    AFL   |   Aug 5, 2011 09:39 AM

The Gold Coast Suns million dollar man, Karmichael Hunt, looks set to spend the rest of the season in the reserves after reports the former rugby league star is ‘burnt out’.

Hunt was rested from the Suns’ matches against Richmond and Collingwood and looked underdone in the Gold Coast’s weekend match against St Kilda.

Hunt has not been named this week for the trip to Geelong after it was revealed the 24 year old is suffering from an illness.

“It’s not looking like this week due to how sick I’ve been. But I’ll definitely be trying my hardest to be 100 per cent right for next week,” Hunt said.

“It was confusing as to why I was feeling so run down but now that I’ve been struck with this illness, it all makes sense.”

While Hunt indicated that his aim was to return against the Lions in round 21, Gold Coast officials are considering playing the former rugby league international in the reserves for the remainder of the season.

“His tank is half full because he is spent. There is probably more fatigue in his body than there is get up and go. I’ll have a chat to him tomorrow and we’ll outline the rest of the season. He’s had a massive two years. Two years, three sports,” Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna said.

“He’s played 13 senior AFL games and he’s had to carry 94kg like he’s never carried it before. I think what he has been able to achieve to this point is fantastic. What he has to do is get conditioned to carrying his body around.

“It might only be 13 games this season but that’s massive. Next year it is going to be 20. He’s going to be better off, he just needs to get conditioned for it.”

Suns football operations manager Marcus Ashcroft said that the club would be doing Hunt an injustice if they continued to pick him in the seniors when his body was indicating it was in need of a rest.

“If he’s sick or run down or getting tired, it’s not going to be in his best interests to go out and play senior footy,” Ashcroft said.

“The thought is not to have too high an expectation of him coming back to play senior footy because we don’t want to cook him or over-strain him.”

This weekend the Gold Coast will travel to Geelong who are fresh off the 186 point mauling of the hapless Demons last week and to make matters worse for the Suns, they will be without inspirational skipper Gary Ablett, who has been ruled out because of a hamstring injury.

“It was a hamstring injury I hurt against Collingwood and it felt good leading into the St Kilda game but unfortunately I’ve done a bit more damage,” Ablett said.

Ablett walked on Geelong at the end of last season to take up a big money deal with the Suns, however McKenna has rubbished claims that Ablett was reluctant to return to Geelong because he did not want to receive a negative reaction from his former fans.

“It’s not Gary’s call, it’s a conditioning and coaching call here,” McKenna said.

“I’m not doing it to protect him mentally, I’m doing it to protect him physically. He’s disappointed of course. He would have loved to have gone down there and faced his old mob.”

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