Cats players Esava Ratugolea, Tom Hawkins and Brad Close are set to miss Saturday’s Round 24 clash with Western Bulldogs following injuries sustained last weekend against St Kilda.

Geelong Cats General Manager of Football Simon Lloyd said the trio had begun their respective rehabilitation programs and shifted their focus to next year.

“Esava Ratugolea injured his hamstring, which was obvious during the game. It’s actually the opposite side to the injury he sustained mid-season,” Lloyd said.

“Tom Hawkins had a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury, so that’s relatively minor.

“Brad Close also had a moderate-grade lateral ankle injury, so he was unable to return to the field.

“So those three players will begin their rehabilitation program – or they already have begun – and hopefully will start to recover and shift focus on to next season.”

Rhys Stanley’s availability will be assessed later in the week as he looks to return from an adductor injury.

“He’s running at the moment. He’ll be tested with change of direction and other aspects and measures he needs to tick off throughout the week, and we’ll assess his availability in the latter part of this week,” Lloyd said.

Cameron Guthrie and Toby Conway both made their return through the VFL last week, with Guthrie returning after 16 weeks out with a foot injury, while Conway looked impressive after a short stint sidelined with an ankle injury.

“Cam goth through the game, so (it was) a successful return from a foot injury, which is really positive – albeit it was on modified, reduced game time,” Lloyd said.

“We’ll probably go a more conservative approach with Cam this week, but again, that decision still needs to be made and assessed throughout the course of the week.

“Toby Conway had a minor ankle injury the previous week and returned and looked really good. He was great in the contest, around the ground he had a big influence and (it was) a really positive game from Toby.”

With Finals now out of the equation for the Cats, the Club will take a proactive approach with some players as we look ahead to the 2024 season.

“We’ve needed to be proactive in regard to some of the decisions we’ve needed to make, and Mark Blicavs had surgery on his shoulder yesterday,” Lloyd said.

“Gary Rohan will have surgery on his ankle on Wednesday, and Jeremy Cameron will have surgery on his troublesome AC joint.

“It’s been incredible he’s been able to keep going and performing at a certain level, and it’s now time to be proactive with that surgery on his AC joint, which will be on Thursday.”