Gold Coast Suns defender Nathan Bock return from a broken leg in round six last year will be delayed by around six to eight weeks.

The former Crows goal was to play round one but the injury has required extensive rehabilitation and despite going well will keep him out of the first part of the season.

Bock has been an important player since becoming part of the Suns inaugural team in 2011 but his 2012 season was cut short when he collided with Fremantle player Matthew De Boer causing the broken leg.

Suns coach Guy McKenna said that he will be glad to have his vice-captain back on the park but understands that it is important to rush his recovery.

“His goal was to play round one everything going well, and everything’s gone well, he’s just underestimated the work you have to do coming back off a broken leg,” McKenna told the media this week.

“But he’s tracking well and he’ll be a very important player for us this year, which is really exciting.”

The 29 year old was named as the All-Australian centre half back in 2008 but has been used both up forward and down back at both the Crows and the Suns.