GARY Ablett's season is over, with the Gold Coast skipper set to have reconstructive surgery on his left shoulder on Thursday.
Ablett will miss the rest of 2014, deciding on the safer, long-term option after two days of careful deliberation.
The surgery will be performed in Melbourne by orthopaedic surgeon Greg Hoy, the same man that helped Carlton skipper Chris Judd overcome a similar injury.
"This is the most significant injury of my playing career, and we have made the decision in the interest of my long-term playing career," he told the Suns' website.
"It has been a very difficult decision, in particular as there is a temptation to compromise my shoulder's long-term movement in a bid to get back and assist the team to make our first finals appearance."
His absence for the remainder of 2014 jeopardises eighth-placed Gold Coast's tilt at a maiden finals appearance.
It will also throw Brownlow Medal markets into turmoil.
Suns general manager of football operations, Marcus Ashcroft, said the club supported Ablett’s decision, one that would see him available for the first day of pre-season training in November.
"There was an option to potentially give an arthroscope to Gary to hopefully play in the next four to five weeks." Ashcroft said.
"There was always going to be a risk if he played on with it that there'd be further damage to the joint and potentially some bone issues with the joint.
"We came back to the long-term view that we wanted to make sure Gary was 100 per cent right."
Ablett's manager Liam Pickering told radio station SEN the arthroscope option was just too risky.
"When the surgeon tells you there's an 80 per cent chance of it popping out again, that's probably telling you the best thing you can do is have a reconstruction," he said.
Michael Rischitelli will captain the Suns against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.
The captaincy will then be rotated among the leadership group that also includes Dion Prestia, David Swallow and Tom Lynch.
"He'd love to be part of the last third of the season to potentially play in our first finals team, so from Gary's point of view it's a fairly unselfish approach," Ashcroft said.
Ablett has been incredibly durable over his 13-season career.
After his patchy debut season, the dual Brownlow medalist has missed just 18 games in the next 12 seasons, and just five in his four years with the Suns.