GEELONG will resist the temptation to bring Joel Selwood back for Friday night's clash against Richmond with the skipper to miss his fourth consecutive match.
Selwood hasn't played since the Cats' round 12 win over Port Adelaide due to a knee complaint and next week's final home and away match against Sydney will mark a 38-day layoff.
With the Cats' top-four berth all but secured, they will opt to get extra training into Selwood's body to provide a stronger fitness base for finals.
"We're going to be a little more conservative again," coach Chris Scott said of the Selwood decision on Thursday afternoon.
"He's in good shape, I understand if you would not completely believe me.
"We'll put the week in the bank and bring him back for the round 18 game.
"He's been managing issues over the last couple of years, actually.
"As I've said ad nauseam, last year we played him when in retrospect we probably shouldn't (have), so we're doubling down on our decision this year to be conservative."
The clash with the Swans on September 20 will also mark Gary Ablett's return after his 14-day quarantine period ends on September 15.
The Cats will welcome back Zach Tuohy against the Tigers after the Irishman missed last week's win over Essendon with a rib complaint, as well as ongoing knee soreness.
Ruckman Rhys Stanley is also "very likely" after sitting out with a groin injury sustained in the round 15 victory against the Western Bulldogs.
Scott said he was "pretty confident" Jack Steven would be fit to play after missing last week with a jaw injury, while Gary Rohan has been given the green light after a glute concern.
With many tipping Friday night's clash against the Tigers as the game of the season to date, Scott said a number of factors would go into determining the outcome.
"The conditions will play a part, there's a lot of rain forecast in south-east Queensland over the next 48 hours so we'll need to adapt to that, as the Tigers will as well," Scott said.
"There are certainly some contrasting parts to our game style (from Richmond) but the games against the best teams are always a product of who can get the game played more in their style and who can adapt."
Meanwhile, Cats speedster Nakia Cockatoo has been ruled out for the remainder of 2020 as the Cats prepare to organise a flight for him to return to Victoria.
Cockatoo and his partner are expecting their first child later this year, while he is also set to undergo surgery to repair a wrist injury he has been playing through in recent weeks.