Geelong skipper Joel Selwood will miss Friday's vital clash against Richmond with Cats coach Chris Scott admitting the club wants him primed for finals, while talented midfielder Nakia Cockatoo will return to Melbourne to have a wrist operation while awaiting the birth of his first child.
Selwood is training unencumbered, said Scott, but his preparation is geared towards the finals series despite the Cats being able to cement their spot in the top four if they defeat Richmond in the round 17 clash.
Scott said the chance to get extra sessions into the champion Cat was being prioritised over the game with the club conceding they have probably erred in previous years in not resting players when their body needed one.
"He is training unencumbered and has been for some time. We have got a plan that we think is going to leave him best placed to play really well in the finals series," Scott said.
Scott said Zach Tuohy and Rhys Stanley were likely to return for the biggest home-and-away match this season after being late withdrawals against Essendon while speedster Gary Rohan will be available despite sitting out the final quarter against the Bombers with a tight glute.
Meanwhile the unlucky Cockatoo will have wrist surgery in Melbourne ahead of the impending birth of his first child. Scott said he still thought the 23-year-old had a strong future at the club despite injuries keeping him sidelined since round three, 2018.
"We are going to prioritise what is best for him long term, get him back to Melbourne, get his wrist operated on, let him enjoy a great time in his life with the arrival of his first child and give him enough time to prepare really well for a pre-season," Scott said.
He hurt his wrist in a scratch match and although he could have potentially played this season in discomfort, he would have eventually required surgery.
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