GARY Ablett has boosted his teammates and coaches after returning to Gold Coast training earlier than expected – without wearing a sling.
The Suns skipper joined training on Wednesday and has completed two sessions ahead of the full squad resuming under new coach Rodney Eade on Monday.
Ablett missed the final seven games of last season after dislocating his left shoulder against Collingwood in July.
He had surgery and was sporting a sling to support the injury over the following few months.
But while he will be unable to do contact work for some time yet, Ablett has been running laps and kicking the Sherrin at the Metricon Stadium training field.
Gold Coast assistant coach Ashley Prescott told goldcoastfc.com.au Ablett's early return had lifted his teammates.
"It's great to have Gary (at training),” Prescott said.
"The boys love to see him, and he looks like he's progressing really well from his injury too.
"He's ticking all the boxes he needs to - there's a fair bit of work to do, but at the moment we've got a fair bit of time.
"He's being aggressive with his rehabilitation, and from all reports it's coming along really well."
Meanwhile, the Suns have finalised their coaching structure for 2015 with the appointment of Matthew Lappin as development coach.
Lappin forged a strong relationship with new Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade at Collingwood, having spent four years as the Pies' forwards coach.
His appointment follows the recent change of role for Ashley Prescott from development to assistant coach.
Lappin will officially link up with the Suns from Monday.