Geelong superstars Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett are both on track to make their AFL returns ahead of this year’s finals.
Cats coach Chris Scott expects both players to face Sydney in next weekend’s final home-and-away match as Geelong look to bounce back from a 26-point loss to Richmond at Metricon Stadium.
The loss to the reigning premiers at Metricon Stadium leaves the Cats in fourth and needing a win over the Swans to secure a top-four spot for the finals.
Selwood has missed the Cats’ past four games with a knee injury while Ablett has been in quarantine on the Gold Coast after leaving the team’s bubble earlier this year to deal with family issues.
Scott said he was confident both would return to take on the Swans but he wouldn’t take any unnecessary risk with either.
“As of today, I would expect them both to play but there’s nine days until our next game,” Scott said after Friday’s loss to the Tigers.
“Joel has played a lot of the year and has been a really good player for us and Gary’s a star.
“How important is cohesion versus really, really good players? I think we sort of lean a little bit more towards getting our best players into our team. It’s not as if they have to learn in one week how we play.”
Scott said the end of the Cats’ six-game winning run at the hands of the Tigers was no reason for too much despair, given his belief that the premiers are again the team to beat in 2020.
He was hopeful his team would be better for the experience should the two teams meet in the finals, and would need to be better too.
“They make it hard for you,” he said.
“There’s not much that’s easy in a game against Richmond so if we’re good enough to get the chance to play them again we certainly won’t be going in hoping that it’s easy because it won’t be.”