Returning Gold Coast ruckman Zac Smith is ready to fill the breach for the Suns if Jarrod Witts fails to be fit for next month's AFL opener.
Witts's pre-season has been interrupted by a fractured bone in his foot, leaving the Suns' co-captain racing to be fit for the round one game against Port Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on March 21.
It means Smith could be thrust straight into the firing line by the Suns having rejoined to the club in the off-season after four years with Geelong.
An inaugural Sun, Smith played 65 matches for the club from 2011 to 2015 before joining the Cats where he played a further 50 games including five finals appearances.
The 29-year-old says Witts' injury has been a mixed blessing for him and his chances of lining up against the Power.
"It's obviously really disappointing that he has had an interrupted pre-season because both of us training together would have helped both of us, if that makes sense," Smith told AAP.
"I would've challenged him and he would've challenged me to be better players.
"So that's sort of been a disappointment but also, on the other hand, it's given me an opportunity to probably get to know some of the midfielders a bit closer and do a bit more connection with them.
"If Wittsy comes back and plays round one, so be it. I don't know what they're thinking in terms of selection, obviously that's still a month away.
"He's making inroads in his rehab and I'm just trying to play the best footy I can."
Smith says the Suns are a new club since he departed but he's also returning to the Gold Coast as a better player.
"Probably more well-rounded and just more experienced as well, obviously being in the system now for 10-plus years and four of those down at a club that has had a lot of success over the last 10 years," he said.
"I learnt a lot from being down there."