K rock Football

Cats “hopeful” on Danger

Patrick Dangerfield in action for Geelong. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

PATRICK Dangerfield remains a chance to play in Geelong’s clash with Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night despite not training with the Cats on Wednesday.

The Brownlow medallist was forced from the field with an ankle injury during the final quarter of Geelong’s win over the Western Bulldogs last Saturday.

Cats coach Chris Scott says they haven’t put a line through Dangerfield while having another clip at commentator Kane Cornes for his comments surrounding the star midfielder.

“We’re hopeful that ‘Danger’ will be available,” Scott said.

“I think, at some point, I’ll be in a position to expand on the some of the injury issues – if I can remove it from Pat – that some of the players have to face week-to-week, and indeed play through.

“I think especially guys who have played the game would understand that often they’re quite significant.

“So, to make light of them to draw attention to yourself is a bit selfish.

“Especially when you should know better.”

Scott says while the Cats aren’t in a position to just rest players for the sake of it, they won’t be taking any risks with players who aren’t right.

“We’re certainly not at the stage where we can take liberties with our team, but we do always factor in the long-term,” he said.

“I think, even this year, we’ve shown a preparedness to be conservative with players, whether they be Jordan Clark and Charlie Constable in the early part of their career, or Joel Selwood as the captain.

“And there are others in between as well.

“We’ll make a good decision around whether Pat plays. But, because we’re travelling, it’s unlikely we’re going to be in a position to make that today or tomorrow.

“If we are, then we just won’t name him in the team. But if there’s a chance he’ll play tomorrow, the likelihood is – or the very strong probability is – we’ll take him up with us.”

Ruck Rhys Stanley (adductor) and rookie Tom Atkins (hip) are also a chance to play against the Suns.

“(We) expect Atkins to play at this stage, although not certain. And probably similar for Stanley,” Scott said

“But, again, we travel interstate, so it’s not as if we can wait until game day before we make a decision there, at least without taking them on the plane with us.

“And there are some complications there as well because if guys don’t play, our preference is for them to play in the VFL team.

“But, if they come with us to the Gold Coast, that’ll preclude them from VFL footy.”

However, Geelong will have a decision to make on whether Esava Ratugolea, who was managed last week, returns.

“The situation there – and if I include Zac Smith in the group, effectively we think we have five ruckmen who are all very capable of playing AFL footy at the moment,” Scott said.

“Zac Smith was dominant at VFL level last week and has worked his way back really well from some of the injuries he had in the early part of the season.

“Without going into too much detail, the team we pick, or the group of ruckmen we pick this week, is not necessarily a reflection of the pecking order.

“It’s more of a reflection that we have a group that we intend to use collectively throughout the course of the season.”

Scott says Stanley’s availability will dictate what the big man group Geelong takes in against Gold Coast.

“Because we have some guys that are slightly more suited to being the No.1 ruck, and others guys that are slightly more suited to being more that key forward/second ruckman.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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