Geelong speedster Max Holmes says he is tracking ahead of schedule in his recovery from a syndesmosis injury, eyeing off a return soon after the bye.

Holmes played the first seven games of the season before an ankle injury late in the first quarter in the club’s narrow loss to Fremantle prematurely halted what was shaping up to be a career-best season.

Speaking to the Geelong Cats official podcast, To the Final Bell, Holmes said he’s been running and expects to go up a level again next week.

“I’m tracking really well,” Holmes said.

“I’m a bit ahead of schedule right now so hopefully, I’m running now, get back into footy stuff next week and then try and get back after the bye.”

Pressed on whether that meant he’ll be making the trip to Perth in Round 14, Holmes was circumspect.

“I’ll be ready to play by then but I don’t know what my chances of AFL v VFL are. I’ll just go with whatever the coaches say."

“But I am kicking footy’s around now.”

Holmes has quickly become a key cog in the Geelong midfield after being drafted in the first round of the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, cracking the Cats finals line-up in his first season.

Chris Scott highlighted the 19-year-old’s importance to his side's prospects after he went down against the Dockers in Round 7.

“That might be a weird positive for us as well, that it really affected us,” Scott said in April.

“We understand that better than most because Max is only a relatively young player and new to our system but he’s become really important.”

“In a perverse way, in the longer term, that speaks to how good he is going to be and how important he is to us.”