THE Gold Coast SUNS are positive of a strong return from Brandon Matera, who appears to have recovered from an ankle injury.
The small forward missed the final 12 weeks of 2013 after suffering the injury against Geelong in round 10, but has now fully recovered.
The SUNS website reports, Matera looks set for a big season if yesterday’s match simulation is any indication.
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He was a “shining light” in the modified hit-out at Metricon Stadium that took place over two 15-minute halves.
The clever 21-year-old played predominantly on-ball and got a heap of touches while some of his bigger name teammates watched from the boundary line.
Captain Gary Ablett, full-back Rory Thompson and midfielder Harley Bennell (tight calf) were among those rested, alongside injured vice-captain Dion Prestia (calf).
Ablett ran strongly before and after the match, taking part in a number of midfield drills and an extended session of goal kicking practice for a majority of the team.
Rookie Jarred Ellis limped off midway through the session with a strained hamstring.
The SUNS’ first NAB Challenge match will be played against Essendon at Metricon Stadium this Monday night, February 17.