Karmichael Hunt
Karmichael Hunt

A horror spate of injuries could consign Gold Coast to their second consecutive wooden spoon, with at least five and potentially seven changes to be made for Saturday's clash with Greater Western Sydney.

Sunday's disappointing 42-point belting at the hands of Melbourne was compounded by an unfortunate injury toll that has claimed seven key players.

Luke Russell (dislocated shoulder), Dion Prestia (hamstring), Zac Smith (ankle), Michael Rischitelli (knee) and Karmichael Hunt (shoulder) will watch their team-mates tackle GWS from the sidelines.

Sam Day (foot) and David Swallow (knee) could very well join them, if the pair fails to prove their fitness this week.

The Suns, who are alone on bottom of the ladder after the Giants disposed of a woeful Port Adelaide on Saturday, must win this weekend or the dreaded spoon is almost certainly theirs.

Gold Coast meet a rampant Hawthorn (away), finals battlers Carlton (home) and high-flying Adelaide (away) in the final three rounds, making this their last 'winnable' match this season.

The fact that they may be required to find up to seven replacements for a battle with a GWS side who just received a huge shot of confidence following their first win over an established club could be telling.

"We probably think it will be our biggest ever (amount of) forced changes," coach Guy McKenna said.

"You lose almost a third of your side. When you're preaching continuity and chemistry at the start of the year ... it's just one of those trying years.

"It's not great, but we'll take into this weekend's game the opportunity for some blokes to play for their careers and play for the jumper and play for our first win at Metricon."

McKenna said it was vital for the Suns get off to a bright start against the Giants.

Kevin Sheedy's side set up their victory against Port - which cost Matthew Primus his job - with a five-goal first quarter, while Gold Coast were overrun by Melbourne early on Sunday.

"We've just got to play a consistent brand of football for four quarters. On the weekend we weren't able to do that," he said.

"When we do, we give ourselves a chance to win. But with the side we've got in our second year, we're consistently inconsistent.

"Quite clearly when you give a side a seven-goal head start it's hard to peg back. We certainly can't give GWS any sniff of victory early in the game.

"We've got to come out hard, fast and strong and set the tone of the game from that first bounce."


More from 7Sport