BACK-TO-BACK shoulder knocks have taken their toll on Gold Coast superstar Gary Ablett, who will miss the Suns' trip to Alice Springs to face Melbourne.
There was some doubt about Ablett going into Gold Coast's historic clash with Port Adelaide in China a fortnight ago after he injured his right shoulder against his former side Geelong a week earlier.
Ablett, 33, returned to the field after that second-quarter incident against the Cats, but re-aggravated his shoulder in the 72-point loss to the Power in round eight.
The Suns had the bye last week and Ablett tested his sore shoulder at training on Thursday, but the club's general manager of football operations Marcus Ashcroft said he would have the weekend off.
"He did everything he could to get himself right to play against Port Adelaide in China. Unfortunately, he suffered another knock in the same area in that game," Ashcroft said.
"We thought with the two-week rest before this weekend's match against Melbourne he would be okay.
"Unfortunately today he did a fitness test, didn't feel quite right and on the advice of our medical team, it was decided that Gary not play this weekend and be available for next weekend's match."
Ablett has endured a headline-grabbing season after unsuccessfully requesting a trade back to Geelong in last year's trade period.
He was roundly criticised following an uncharacteristic 16-disposal performance in a loss to GWS in round two, but had no fewer than 29 possessions in any of the six rounds since.
Ablett has just four games to play to bring up his 300th, which he is now due to play against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on June 25.
Thursday night also marks the 10-year anniversary of Geelong's 2007 premiership with Ablett expected to miss the celebrations.