Gold Coast SUNS defender Charlie Ballard has been cleared of injury following a pair of incidents in the Round 8 match against Melbourne at Heritage Bank Stadium.

Ballard left the field for a head injury assessment (HIA) prior to halftime but was cleared to return, before another incident in the final quarter saw him stretchered off the ground.

“Charlie passed his concussion test at halftime, then had another collision in the final quarter with contact to his neck,” GC SUNS Head Physiotherapist Lindsay Bull told the Qscan Injury Update.

“We wanted to be cautious with Charlie’s neck taking him off the ground, but after further assessment he has responded well and we expect him to train fully this week to be available for selection for Friday.”

A trio of SUNS missed the Round 8 match with injury – Lachie Weller, Ben Ainsworth and Nick Holman.

Weller has been ruled out of Round 9 with a minor knee injury, while Ainsworth and Holman remain tests for the match against West Coast on Friday.

“Lachie has been experiencing some discomfort in his knee after the Richmond game, so we’ve taken a conservative approach given his ACL injury last year and won’t risk him this week, but will continue to monitor his progress,” Bull said.

“Ben missed the game on the weekend with a corked quad but is progressing well and will be tested later in the week before a call is made on his availability.

“Nick has been managing a toe injury over the last week which we will continue to monitor before deciding his availability for Round 9.”

Captain Touk Miller is recovering in a knee brace after recent surgery on his meniscus, with a further update on his return to play timeline to be determined once he comes out of the brace.

Jed Anderson missed the VFL match on the weekend with hamstring tightness but is expected to train fully this week and be available for selection.

Click here for the full injury list.