Geelong’s playing group have returned from their eight-week isolation period in good health according to Coach Chris Scott.
Scott spoke to media at GMHBA Stadium on Thursday.
“We don’t have too many red flags at the moment. Jack (Steven) is the obvious one, but with the odd exception our guys seem to be in pretty good shape,” Scott said.
“But that is really hard to gauge until you get into at least full contact training, which won’t happen until next week, but the early signs are pretty positive.”
A number of star players who were touch and go for Round 1 have benefitted from time spent in isolation.
“The eight weeks has been good for a lot of those guys.”
“It was clear we had a lot of players that didn’t quite have the preparation we would have liked them to have had.
“We played (Joel) Selwood and he is much better for the lockdown period, Mitch Duncan is very similar, (Sam) Menegola is very similar, (Jake) Kolodjashnij looks like he will be able to join in training – it looked like he was months away from playing in Round 1, so it has helped him.
“Cockatoo will be training but I would caution about being too optimistic there as well, as there is a fair bit to see before we talk about him playing."
“Dangerfield and Dahlhaus had some issues and they're pretty good.”
In further good news, third-year Cat Lachie Fogarty who is coming off ankle surgery isn’t far away.
Scott is of the opinion that both Fogarty and Steven might take a little longer, but should be in the mix when games return.
“He is probably along with Jack Steven and there might be one other that might be held up by a week or so, but we think he would be right to play when games come around.”
With nearly a full list of players in contention to play from 11 June, those Cats who have been on the sidelines as set to benefit from the health of the other players during this period.
“One of the benefits from having a bit of time off is your match practice looks a bit better with full numbers, getting those guys some match practice is really hard if you only have 30 fit players, 15 v 15 is probably not quite enough, but we’re a bit better than that, so we think the next couple of weeks will tell us a bit.”
Scott also touched on dual Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett jnr.
He is ‘neutral’ about whether the isolation period is set to benefit the experienced Cat.
“Time will tell but I think it is neutral. I think he has had a pretty good couple of months from what we can see, but he was pretty good anyway."
“He was ready to go in Round 1 and he is ready to go now."