GOLD Coast youngster Kade Kolodjashnij is likely to be sidelined for a month after straining his hamstring in the Suns' upset loss to the Western Bulldogs in Cairns.

The 18-year-old, who was probably his team's best player in the first half, hobbled from the field in the third quarter and was immediately subbed out of the game.

It continued Gold Coast's horror run with injuries, which has left it without Gary Ablett (shoulder) for the rest of the season and Trent McKenzie (hamstring) for the next three weeks.

Five talking points: Gold Coast v Western Bulldogs

"There's another trooper down," Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna said of Kolodjashnij's hamstring problem.

"I know it's a hamstring. Whether it's a strain or a tear or a cramp … I think it's a bit more than a cramp.

"I think he'll be missing some weeks."

The Suns have now lost all six of their games when Ablett has been missing, but McKenna won't hear of them being labelled a one-man band.

He was adamant that his team's inability to win the contested ball against the Dogs, rather than Ablett's absence, was the key factor in its defeat.

"We've been beaten inside before, with Gary playing or not playing," McKenna said.

"I think collectively we got smashed inside, and then we got ran to the bleachers on the outside as well. That was probably the most damning factor."

The Suns seemed flat from the start of the game, and their much-vaunted fast movement of the ball was nowhere to be seen for most of the evening.

However, McKenna was reluctant to put that down to their taxing clash with Collingwood the week before, which they won after playing the last quarter without anyone on the bench.

"Last week was last week, but I think we did enough to make sure the boys were ready for this week," he said.

"We just couldn't get out of the blocks. (We were) pressured around the ball, coughed the footy up due to the Bulldogs' pressure, and we got hurt."

The Suns had 115 less disposals than the Bulldogs, and they lost the contested possession count by 26.

"I think we got pantsed in the contested football situation," McKenna said. "They won the inside ball and the outside ball.

"Having said that, I think we were four points up early in the last quarter. The boys were hanging in there, we just couldn't get any continuity of possession.

"We couldn't get our flow going, and credit to the Doggies. We just didn't win our one-on-ones.

"That's not just one person playing or not playing. That's every person, when their contest comes or their moment comes, you need to halve it or win it.

"But don't lose it as badly as we did tonight."

The Suns will lose their place in the top eight if Essendon defeats Collingwood on Sunday.

But McKenna said their "spot on the ladder doesn't worry me.

"What worries me is the lack of zip, lack of punch and the lack of willingness to own your one-on-one contest tonight.

"But we go into a bye, and I'm sure that will be a nasty taste in their mouth, as far as the playing group goes.

"And I would certainly expect a turnaround after a few days off and a freshen up.

"There's six games to go. We know what's got us to nine wins so far this season.

"We didn't display that today, so we got another loss.

"For six rounds to go, we know what it takes to win a game of football, and I'm sure the boys will be energised and ready to do so."

Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol