GEELONG’s Gary Ablett has made the decision to return home from Perth to be with his family, following the recent diagnosis of his son Levi with a rare and degenerative disease.
Ablett left the Cats’ Perth hub to fly home to Victoria on Saturday morning.
Geelong’s General Manager of Football Simon Lloyd says Ablett has the full support of the football club.
“Gary approached Chris Scott and I early in the week. We’re well aware this is a deeply personal situation for Gary and Jordan,” Lloyd says.
“We knew it may happen while we’re away and he’s made the decision to return home.
“Obviously as a football club we totally support that on compassionate grounds. You’ll find that this may happen across the competition over the coming weeks at different times.
“The focus at the moment first and foremost is care for Gary and support for him and Jordan and their family during this challenging period.”
Lloyd says Ablett will train with former Cat Andrew Mackie in Geelong with hopes to return to the field this season.
“I think Gary’s intention is to return to the hub at some stage. We’ll stay in contact with Gary and he’ll continue to train when he returns to Geelong. We’ll just have to take it day by day really,” he says.
“He spoke to the playing group last night and he said that he wants to get back and get playing and his objective is to help Geelong win a premiership this season.
“We’ll work through the AFL with that, there’s different protocols and quarantine periods. We’ve already spoken to the AFL and we’ll work through that as we go.
Lloyd also commented on the manner with which Ablett has carried himself through a challenging period.
“Gary and Jordan’s ability to compartmentalise and during such difficult times and circumstances, his ability to come into the football club chirpy and happy and the care that he shows for his teammates day in and day out, it’s just incredible to sit back and watch the way he’s carried himself.”