K rock Football

Atkins to miss Blues clash

Geelong forward Tom Atkins. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG looks set to be without Tom Atkins for Saturday’s clash with Carlton after the pressure forward underwent minor surgery for a hand injury on Monday.

Coach Chris Scott says the issue for the rookie is not serious.

“If he doesn’t play this week, he would play the next week in that pre-finals bye period or would be available to play,” Scott said.

“He’s unlikely because of that surgery.”

Scott is adamant playing Atkins, who has featured in 19 games so far this year, in the loss to Brisbane didn’t make it worse.

“The answer’s a categoric “no”,” he said. “We were really comfortable with the plan there.

“It’s actually a good outcome for what that issue could have been.”

Atkins replacement could be Gary Roha, who has missed the last two weeks with a knee injury.

“That’s not certain, yet,” Scott said. “But, again, if he doesn’t play this week, it’s nice to know we’ve got that game (VFL final) up our sleeve.

Scott says young gun Jordan Clark is “moving well” as he recovers from an elbow injury suffered at training on August 7.

“The nature of those upper-body injuries where the player can run generally means they can come back a little bit quicker than if they lose some conditioning through not being able to run.

“My understanding is he won’t be available this week – I think we’ve put a line through that.

“But, the next fortnight, we’re open-minded to. So, that’s tracking along OK.

“But, I don’t think there’s great clarity until they get to the next stage of their training and look at contact and that stuff.

“It’s a bit hard to predict.”

Lachie Fogarty (hamstring) and Nakia Cockatoo (hamstring tightness) are both chances to line-up in Sunday’s VFL clash with Essendon.

Cockatoo made his return from more than a year on the sidelines on August 4 but has been a late withdrawal from the last two matches.

“I could understand if you thought I wasn’t being completely forthright with Nakia, but I’m giving you everything that I know,” Scott said.

“We’re really conservative with him. He got a little bit tight last week out of the blue, so the decision was made early on not to play him.

“He’s recovered from that, he’s trained really well, so all signs point to him playing this week.

“If something comes up and we pull him, I’ll try to be as transparent as possible because I do understand it’s a bit difficult to work out from the outside.

“But I think the best way we can communicate it is just to stress we’re playing the long game with Nakia.”

Scott also confirmed Cockatoo would remain at the club for 2020 after signing a contract extension believed to be one year.

Twitter: @tom_king79
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Click below to listen to Chris Scott’s media conference in its entirety.