Pearce Hanley could play for the Suns this weekend.
Pearce Hanley could play for the Suns this weekend. Jason O'Brien

Hanley in line to face Blues after brother's funeral

AFL: Gold Coast recruit Pearce Hanley is an "outside chance” to face Carlton on Saturday.

The Irishman has returned from compassionate leave after rushing home to be with his ill brother, who passed away in Ireland last month.

Hanley (pictured) played in the Suns' round one loss to Brisbane before jetting out and has missed the past two games, including the record-breaking win over Hawthorn last weekend.

Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft said the speedy midfielder had returned to training and was pressing his claims for an AFL call-up.

"It has been a tough month for Pearce, he went back home obviously for a couple of weeks and returned to Australia yesterday,” Ashcroft told the club's website.

"He started training and we'll assess him throughout the week to make sure we do the right thing by him, to ensure he is physically ready to play.

"But he is an outside chance to play some form of footy this weekend.”

Top draft pick Ben Ainsworth as well as veteran midfielders Mitch Hallahan and Jesse Lonergan are also in line to face the Blues at Etihad Stadium but mass changes are unlikely after the Suns' historic win over the Hawks.

Meanwhile, Melbourne defender Josh Wagner will miss the next month after fracturing his thumb in a VFL practice match on the weekend.

The 22-year-old, who was upgraded from the rookie list last year, suffered a dislocation and will have surgery on Wednesday.


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