More than 400 days since suffering a second serious knee injury, young GC SUNS star Connor Budarick has been named to make his AFL return.

Budarick is one of five inclusions for Saturday afternoon’s Thank You Round clash against Carlton at Heritage Bank Stadium, after impressing in the VFL in recent weeks.

The return comes more than a year after his last appearance in July 2022.

As confirmed on Thursday morning, Northern Territory product Lloyd Johnston will become the SUNS’ fourth debutant of 2023 on Saturday afternoon.

Budarick and Johnston are joined by Ben King, Alex Sexton and Brayden Fiorini as the Round 23 inclusions.

As confirmed in the Qscan Injury Update, Nick Holman will be unavailable for the remainder of the season with a knee injury while Sam Day, Elijah Hollands, Darcy Macpherson and Jy Farrar have all been omitted.

Day and Macpherson are among the four emergencies alongside Ben Long and James Tsitas with one of the group to be named as the SUNS substitute an hour before first bounce.

Heritage Bank Stadium will be abuzz with family-fun activities as the Gold Coast SUNS celebrate Thank You with its dedicated members and supporters this Saturday. Check out all the match day information here.

Gate 3 will open at 10.15am ahead of the SUNS VFL curtain raiser at 10.25am. All gates are open from 12.00pm ahead of a 2.10pm first bounce.