K rock Football

Skipper set to return for Cats

Geelong captain Joel Selwood. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

JOEL Selwood is set to return among at least three changes to the Geelong team for Wednesday night’s clash with North Melbourne at the Gabba.

The Cats skipper is likely to be joined by big man Rhys Stanley and defensive forward Tom Atkins, while former St Kilda star Jack Steven is also in the mix.

Young midfielder Charlie Constable (concussion) will go out of the team that lost to West Coast by nine points on Saturday night.

Selwood missed the match-ups with Fremantle and the Eagles after suffering a hamstring injury against Collingwood on July 16.

“I’m pretty optimistic that he will play,” coach Chris Scott said.

“We want to wait a little bit longer to see how those guys go physically today before we absolutely make that decision.

“I was as transparent as I could be last week, in that I suspected he could have played on Saturday, which always had me at least optimistic that he’d be OK for the Wednesday game.”

Stanley has been sidelined since the loss to Carlton in Round 3 with a knee injury.

“I think it’s likely that Stanley will play, which will be really good for us,” Scott said.

“We have confidence we have a bit of depth there, but once we move past (Darcy) Fort and Stanley, we are tending to play guys that we play in the ruck as their secondary position.

“It would be nice to have a genuine No.1 guy back.”

Atkins hasn’t played since suffering a rib injury in the win over Melbourne on June 28.

“We’ve been really careful with that … it’s a case of protecting Tom from himself,” Scott said.

“He’s such tough young fella that can play through anything, and I think we’ve got a responsibility to save him from himself to an extent, which we’ve done.

“So, he’s well and truly ready to go now; that’s a good thing for us because he’s been a good player.”

Steven, who has averaged 14 possessions from four games since arriving from the Saints, was managed out of the last two matches in the Perth hub.

“There’s a very good chance he will play,” Scott said.

“We’ve got a short break into our St Kilda game on Monday; so he will play this one or that one, I would have thought.”

Quinton Narkle’s likely to have to wait until for the clash with the Saints to return from a hamstring injury, while Scott said he’s hopeful of the luckless Nakia Cockatoo playing before the end of August.

“In the next four or five games, I think he’s well and truly in the frame … (but) not this week,” Scott said.

Twitter: @tom_king79