THREE weeks ago Matt Rowell was a Brownlow Medal favourite – now he's a Gold Coast opposition analyst.
The No.1 draft pick was taking the footy world by storm during his first month in the big time, notching three successive 'perfect 10s' in the AFL Coaches' Association award against West Coast, Fremantle and Adelaide.
Until he dislocated his shoulder against Geelong in round five.
Following surgery, Rowell has begun his rehabilitation, and SUNS senior coach Stuart Dew said there was plenty he could do away from the field to improve.
"It's really uncomfortable watching footy when you're Matt and made that impact," Dew said.
"We're going to keep him busy with our opposition analysis and keeping him involved with the mids.
"The way he sees the game is really impressive and he's got a lot to add. He's still going to impact the side."
With his right arm in a sling, Rowell is still finding ways to keep himself amused.
At Gold Coast's training session on Monday he casually juggled three footballs with his left hand.
This comes after two weeks in the club's Wollongong hub where he also taught himself to play table tennis with the same non-dominant hand.
Having players help out with coaching or analysis is nothing new at the Suns – or many clubs.
Gold Coast rookie Mitch Riordan (ACL) is also involved.
Rowell only turned 19 earlier this month.
"The fact everyone's got lower staff numbers, we think we'll slide Matt in and he'll be able to help us out," Dew said.
His first assignment will be preparing for the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night – the first time in SUNS history they have played on any day aside from the weekend.
Dew said the unpredictable nature of the season was helping his young team.
"We're lucky we've got a really young list that's very flexible," he said.
"As we're in a system or place longer, you get more used to the routine.
"Some of these guys that haven't been in AFL as long aren't as shocked by the unpredictability.
"Whereas some of the players that have been in the system for a while can get institutionalised and used to certain things, so they can take a little longer to adjust."
Part of the flexibility required involves the current five-day break – something the SUNS have never encountered.
They returned home on Saturday night after two weeks, and three games, on the road.
Dew forecast one possible change from the team that defeated Sydney by 32 points on Saturday, saying small forward Sean Lemmens could earn a recall against the Bulldogs.