K rock Football

Four in the mix for Cats

Joel Selwood leads the Cats off the Gabba earlier in the season. (AFL Photos Image/Albert Perez)

CAPTAIN Joel Selwood and veteran great Gary Ablett are set to return, while speedster Gary Rohan and former St Kilda star Jack Steven are both available as Geelong ponders its line-up for Sunday’s clash with Sydney on the Gold Coast.

Selwood hasn’t played since the Round 12 win over Port Adelaide due to a knee issue, and Ablett has served two weeks in the AFL’s quarantine hub after returning home in mid-July for family reasons.

Rohan was the latest of withdrawals from last week’s loss to Richmond due to a glute injury, and a jaw problem has sidelined Steven since the win over the Bulldogs.

Rhys Stanley will be missing again with a groin problem.

“(We’re) still a couple of days out, and has been our process all year, we wait until as late as possible before we absolutely finalise our team.

“But, I think we’ve earmarked that the plan was for Gary to come back in as soon as he was available. And the plan was to hold Joel back as long as we possibly could.

“We’ve done that, so there’s no reason to think that those two won’t play.

“Then there’s a few other things at the margin as well that we’re probably not as clear on right at the moment.

“Best guess is Rohan will be available to play, Stanley won’t be, and Jack Steven will be available.”

Scott said Stanley would be right to go come the Cats’ first final.

“Given that there’s a pre-finals bye, that leaves him as surer thing as possible to be available.

“Now, I’ve said he’d play for a couple of weeks in-a-row now and got it wrong.

“But that’s not my area of expertise – I’m just the messenger when it comes to this stuff.

“But, every indication we’ve got is that he’ll be OK.”

Scott said the condensed match time will help Ablett in his return having not played since the Round 7 loss to Collingwood on July 16.

“We think the reduced game time helps ease him in, compared to previous seasons,” Scott said.

“We want to be smart about; we’re not just going to throw him in and hope for the best.

“But we are really confident in the training he has been able to do, and our objective measures point to him being in better shape than he was last time he played with us.

“The bit that’s hard to quantify is the match practise and how he fits there. But, physically, he’s in really good shape.

“Anyone, even someone of Gary’s stature, will be a little wanting for match fitness, but we think he can pick that up pretty quickly.”

Twitter: @tom_king79