LEGENDARY Geelong full-back Matthew Scarlett has helped steady the Cats after star defender Tom Stewart's likely season-ending injury rocked the premiership contenders.
Stewart underwent foot surgery on Monday and the dual Therabody AFL All-Australian is doubtful to return again this season.
Star utility Mark Blicavs, who will play his 200th game on Saturday night in the Cats' blockbuster clash with Melbourne, was left shattered by Stewart's unfortunate injury at training.
But Scarlett, a triple Cats premiership player and one of the AFL's all-time greatest defenders, has been influential in getting Geelong back on track in his role as an assistant coach.
"It (Stewart's injury) sucks. I'm personally really sad, we all are," Blicavs said.
"It's bad timing, he's a superstar player, who's having an amazing, and in my opinion, another All-Australian year.
"Scarlo's asked us, now without 'Stew' in the short-term, to all step up.
"We can't replace (Stewart), he's a pretty unique player and very much a superstar.
"But we can all defend a bit better, attack the ball a bit better, and that's what Scarlo's asked of us and we're training like that."
Blicavs has raced to bring up his double-century games milestone after only debuting in 2013, after a switch from athletics at the end of the previous year.
He fitted seamlessly into the AFL environment, right from his pre-season session when he dominated every Cats player in a time-trial.
The 30-year-old has stamped himself as one of Geelong's most important players, having the ability to play in the ruck, on the wing and down back.
Blicavs has played at least 20 games a season since arriving at Kardinia Park and believes his background in another sport has been beneficial towards his durability in the AFL.
"I thought to myself, now I've made the decision to go from athletics to football, this has to work," Blicavs said.
"I never set out to play 200 games, but I think the journey as it built up led me to this point."