Gary Ablett’s stellar performance against the reigning premiers has forced Geelong to delay his scheduled break, according to AFL.com.au.
Cats coach Chris Scott realised that breaks here and there for the 34-year-old would be contemplated, but not in his current form.
“It will happen at some point,” Scott told reporters on Thursday.
“There’s a whole lot of data points that go into that decision. The least important is the original plan that was hatched. We’ve got to have a plan, but it’s 10 or 12 weeks old now.
“The information we have now is more relevant and more important … the message we’d like to convey is that Gary and a group of other players will be managed throughout the year.”
Ablett’s new role as a high half-forward has seen him kick 10 goals from the first six games and is ranked in the top five for score involvements and goal assists in the competition.
“We’ve got an idea, but it’s coming. It would be a great problem if we get to round 21 and it still hasn’t come. I think the answer then will be that things have changed,” Scott announced.
“We’ve got a strong history of trying to look after our players and if that weakens our team temporarily, we think that’s a better mistake to make than running a guy into the ground and having him not at his best later in the year.”
Geelong will be looking to add to their current line-up in the coming weeks as players return from injury.
Lachie Henderson (plantar fascia) and Scott Selwood (hamstring) will play in the VFL this weekend, while Lachie Fogarty (hip) and Jed Bews (groin) are nearing their returns.
Henderson and Selwood will be on restricted duties in their VFL outing on the weekend.
“We’re not prepared to talk publicly about much they’ll play,” Scott said.
“There will certainly be reduced game time for Scott, in particular … and maybe Lachie.”
However, youngster Nakia Cockatoo is eyeing off a return in the second half of the year as he recovers from a PCL injury.
“It’s slow and it’s a meticulously developed program,” Scott said.
“The priority is him getting in really good shape before we even consider playing him.”