UPDATE: Gold Coast is still uncertain how long it will be without injured star Gary Ablett, with the Suns to seek further specialist opinion on his damaged shoulder in the next two days.
The Suns had hoped to make a decision today on how many games the Brownlow Medal favourite was likely to miss, or whether he would undergo season-ending surgery seven weeks out from the finals.
But after Ablett underwent scans on Monday morning the club said it required more time to make an accurate diagnosis and determine the most appropriate treatment.
“We are still in the early stages of diagnosing the injury," said Suns football operations manager Marcus Ashcroft.
“Over the next 24 to 48 hours our medical staff will engage specialists who will work with them to ensure the full extent of the injury is established and the most appropriate form of treatment is provided.”
Medical experts on Sunday suggested Ablett should miss at least three weeks to ensure the shoulder he dislocated against Collingwood on Saturday has sufficient time to heal.
Peter Brukner said it would be best if the dual Brownlow medallist took five to six weeks to recover, but three weeks should be the minimum.
"It will be about getting the balance right,'' he said. "Do you keep him off the squad for longer to give him the best chance to heal, or do you risk it and get him back quicker?"
"Five weeks or so could be enough to get the shoulder strong enough to withstand the pressures of the AFL. But most clubs and athletes' natural instinct is to take the risk, but they may take a longer-term approach."
The Suns are eighth on the ladder and on their way to a first finals appearance.
Ablett was injured in the third quarter when tackled by Collingwood's Brent Macaffer. He will have scans on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.
Ablett, 30 still has plenty of good football years ahead of him and Brukner thinks it would be wise to allow Ablett as much time as possible in rehabilitation.
The biggest concern once Ablett returns to the field is that he’ll suffer a similar injury. Brukner said people who suffered the injury once were more likely to do it again.
Betting was suspended on the Brownlow Medal after Ablett's injury, for which he was a hot favourite to win for a third time.
Sportsbet spokesman Shaun Anderson said no bets on Ablett would be taken until it was known how many matches he was likely to miss.
But punters can still bet on the Brownlow, with a market - minus Ablett - framed. Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury is favourite at $3.25, with Fremantle's Nat Fyfe $3.50, Josh Kennedy (Sydney) $4.50 and Joel Selwood (Geelong) $10.
There is speculation that Ablett has already earned enough votes to win, even if he misses up to a month, but no player has won a Brownlow after missing more than four games.
According to Champion Data, Ablett could have received three votes from umpires in 10 games this year, with Pendlebury on eight, Geelong’s Joel Selwood six and West Coast’s Josh Kennedy five.