PETER Wright now has a golden ticket for 2017, but Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade has watered down expectations on the boom young forward.

Following Sam Day's season-ending hip injury last weekend, Wright is now a lock to play alongside co-captain Tom Lynch this season.

But after playing 17 games and kicking 27 goals last year, the bar should be kept low for the third-year forward, says Eade.

Day's injury robs the Suns of a versatile key-position player that can switch between ends and be used as a back-up ruckman, but Eade says there will be no change to his forward set-up.

Eade said he had always planned on going with just two targets in the forward 50.

"The thing with Peter is it's still going to be a year of growth for him," Eade said.

"There's been a lot of publicity about where he can get to, but he's still only 20 years of age.

"Tall forwards don't really hit their mark until 23, 24 years of age, so there's still some room for improvement and room for growth.

"The expectations aren't high, per se, but as long as he's presenting himself and getting to contests, that's what we're looking for."

Wright will play his first game of the pre-season on Sunday when the Suns head north to Mackay to play Essendon in the JLT Community Series.

The 203cm Victorian missed the opening match against the Brisbane Lions with a finger injury and will play as a lone target with Lynch resting.

With just Lynch and Wright as recognised tall forwards, the Suns appear to be on thin ice on the injury front, but Eade doesn't see it that way.

"We've got some speed, we've got some players that are smaller that can kick goals. I don't think necessarily we have to go tall," he said.

"The Bulldogs won a flag last year and they had one tall.

"Last year we had three talls in the forward line and I don't think it worked exceptionally well, albeit that we had midfielders out, so they didn't get the (quality) delivery.

"I think you can work around that, it's not the be-all and end-all, to be honest."

Eade revealed veteran Jarrod Harbrow would play his first game in a NEAFL practice match on March 18 following ankle surgery and would not have enough game time to be available for round one the following week.

Adelaide recruit Jarryd Lyons (Achilles) will be available for the Suns' final pre-season match against the Western Bulldogs on March 9.