STUART Dew has some selection headaches to resolve as undersized Gold Coast prepares to take on the hottest team in the competition on Saturday.
The 1-3 Suns face the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium and are sweating on the availability of Charlie Ballard.
Ballard is the latest in a long line of Gold Coast's tall timber battling injury, after injuring his ankle in Saturday night's loss to Carlton.
"Monday he was probably an out," Dew said.
"But he's come on in leaps and bounds the last couple of days.
"We'll give it a little bit longer before we decide, but it's really turned the corner quickly, which is pleasing.
"Then it will just be a decision as to how well he'll be in the game and do we risk that, but if he keeps improving, we'll just let his ankle tell us."
Ballard's availability is critical as the Suns prepare to play a Bulldogs forward trio of Tim English, Aaron Naughton and Josh Bruce that tormented Brisbane at the weekend.
Gold Coast is already light on for key position players following the season-ending ruptured ACL for skipper Jarrod Witts and the long-term knee injury for Sam Day.
It has meant Caleb Graham played in the ruck against the Blues, and Chris Burgess forward, but Dew is weighing that up regardless of whether Ballard proves his fitness.
"We've got a bit of a discussion," he said.
"Obviously there's a fair bit of firepower down there, so it's whether we go with another tall, what we do with our ruck situation and obviously some guys are playing well in the VFL.
"He (Graham) could be (moved to defence) or do we maintain a little taller structure forward?
"Jack Hombsch, who we pulled out of the reserves trial last week, is an option as well.
"We've got to decide whether we go to that, or a third tall that might be slightly undersized to keep Caleb in the ruck."
Whoever Gold Coast puts on the field needs to improve to challenge the Bulldogs.
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"They're clearly the form team, optically and statistically," Dew said.
"We didn't play to our strengths last week … and probably played into Carlton's hands a bit.
"We think we'll give it a good show and bring our best for longer periods of time and take the game on a little bit."