A cluster of key young Cats are closing in on a return to football as Geelong’s list health takes a step in the right direction.
Jack Henry, Max Holmes and Esava Ratugolea are all knocking on the selectors’ doors and will be tested later this week in hopes of making returns to play.
“Jack Henry is expected to be a test later this week, with a decision of whether he returns this week to be made by coaches and medical and conditioning team," head of medical and conditioning services Harry Taylor says.
“Max Holmes and Esava Ratugolea have both progressed well through their reconditioning programs. Both will be a test later this week to determine their availability."
Defensive star Tom Stewart won’t miss a game after progressing through the AFL’s concussion protocols in the bye round, while Jake Kolodjashnij is available after entering the league’s health and safety protocols before the Bulldogs clash.
Veteran presence Shaun Higgins is also locked in to get back on the park after spending a month on the training track preparing himself for the run home.
“Shaun Higgins is available after a period of graduated training reloading. The medical and coaching teams will work through what his return to play looks like throughout the week,” Taylor says.
The dynamic Patrick Dangerfield is still at least one week away, with the weekend set aside for some more high intensity training sessions.
“Patrick is progressing well in his reconditioning program,” Taylor says.
“He will continue to complete high intensity sessions during the remainder of the week and over the weekend with further decisions regarding his availability to be made next week.”
Rebounding defender Nick Stevens is available for selection after overcoming a foot complaint.
“Nick will return to football this weekend after experiencing some foot soreness, which precluded him from being able to train and play in the past month,” Taylor says.
Jonathon Ceglar (foot), Sam Simpson (concussion), James Willis (knee), Flynn Kroeger (wrist) , Paul Tsapatolis (ankle) and Brandan Parfitt (hand) all remain sidelined.