Bartel announced his retirement at the end of last season after he was encouraged to hang up the boots by the Cats, despite playing enough games to trigger a contract extension into 2017.
“For me, should (Ablett) go back to Geelong? I’d be pretty upset if I was Jimmy Bartel and you’ve got a guy like Gary Ablett coming back for a year or so when Jimmy wanted to keep playing at the age of 32-years-old but (the Cats) wanted to play the young kids,” Lake said on Fox Footy on Saturday morning.
“I think it’d be a backwards step for Geelong.”
However, Lake said Ablett is still capable of good football and believes he will bounce back this week against Hawthorn, following heavy criticism after the Suns’ 102-point loss to Greater Western Sydney last week.
“He’ll respond. He was poor last week, so he has to respond,” Lake said.
Geelong is said to be open to bringing Ablett back to the club next season, should the Suns be willing to trade their contracted star.