BEN KING is on track to play in Opening Round against Richmond, but is not quite across the line yet as he is nursed back to health from a knee injury that cut his 2023 season short.
Gold Coast's full-forward played the first 20 games before missing the final three with swelling around his knee.
After a ruptured ACL wiped out 2022, the Suns have been cautious during the pre-season with King gradually building up over recent weeks.
Forwards coach Brad Miller said, at this stage, King would likely miss the pre-season match against Brisbane on February 22 before playing modified minutes against Greater Western Sydney a week later.
"He'll be touch and go (for Opening Round)," Miller said on Monday.
"We'll give him every chance.
"We've got to see how he goes in that practice match. If he can hold up there and play his minutes, he'll be every chance to play."
King, who is out of contract at season's end, kicked 40 goals last year to again stamp himself as one of the competition's most exciting young forwards.
Gold Coast is already down one key forward for the start of its season, with No.3 draft pick Jed Walter expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks after undergoing successful surgery on a broken collarbone last week.
Fellow draftee Jake Rogers is back to full training after a slow start to his pre-season as he overcame a stress fracture in his back.