MATT Rowell could be back playing in the AFL in less than three weeks.
The Gold Coast midfielder is ramping up his recovery from a PCL injury suffered in the opening round against West Coast and could be back after the Suns' bye.
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Coach Stuart Dew said the next week would be vital in the 19-year-old's progress.
"Structurally his knee is fine and he's advancing in his skills," Dew said on Wednesday.
"Probably in seven to eight days we'll have a bit more of a timeframe.
"At the moment he's ticking all boxes to be there or thereabouts after the bye."
Gold Coast play Hawthorn in Darwin on Saturday night, then have a bye before returning against Fremantle in round 13.
The Dockers match is set to be played at Optus Stadium, the same ground Rowell suffered the injury against the Eagles.
The former No.1 draft pick took the footy world by storm last year with three successive best on ground performances in his second, third and fourth career matches, but has not seen out four quarters since dislocating his shoulder against Geelong last July.
Dew said the Suns had their eyes locked on the Hawks after failing miserably against Carlton in the corresponding Sir Doug Nicholls Round game in Darwin last year.
"We go up there with some real energy," he said.
"We look forward to playing in Darwin, it's our home game, we've got some connection up there with player and club."
Dew said Jy Farrar (corked quad) just had to get through Wednesday night's main training session to reclaim his spot after missing against Geelong at the weekend.