MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Joel Selwood of the Cats celebrates a goal during the 2019 AFL round 01 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 22, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

Geelong duo Joel Selwood and Jack Steven headline a number of key inclusions for the club’s clash against North Melbourne this Wednesday.

The Cats will receive a welcome boost as their captain returns to the field from a two-game absence due to a hamstring injury.

“I’m pretty optimistic that he will play,” Geelong coach Chris Scott told reports.

“I was as transparent as I could be last week, in that I suspected he could have played last Saturday. That always had me optimistic that he would be OK for this Wednesday game.”

Steven is also set to play in Wednesday’s clash against the Kangaroos after playing just one game in the past month as the club monitors his return to the field.

“He is (in the mix) actually,” Scott said.

“I think there’s a very good chance he will play. We’ve got a short break into our St Kilda game on Monday, so he will play this one or that one.”

Key ruck option Rhys Stanley also looks set to come in after missing six matches due to a knee injury.

Stanley’s return will see Mark Blicavs move back into his custom role in the backline, leaving either Lachie Henderson or Harry Taylor to be rested throughout the next set of fixtures.

“The ruck decision seems to be pretty crucial most weeks,” Scott said

“I think it’s likely that Stanley will play, which will be really good for us. We have confidence that we’ve got a bit of depth there, but once we moved past Darcy Fort and Stanley … we are tending to play guys who we think play in the ruck as their secondary position.

“It will be nice to have a genuine No.1 guy back.”

Defensive forward Tom Atkins will also likely return after missing the last six games due to a rib injury suffered against the Demons in Round 4.