Geelong will be without a trio of star forwards for their Round 24 match against the Western Bulldogs, while defender Esava Ratugolea will also miss the clash at Kardinia Park.

The Cats confirmed on Tuesday evening that a host of senior players won't face the Dogs, with Tom Hawkins (hamstring), Jeremy Cameron (shoulder) and Brad Close (ankle) joining Ratugolea (hamstring) in missing the club's season-ending contest.

Duo Gary Rohan (ankle) and Mark Blicavs (hamstring), who were already sidelined, have required surgery on their ailments and will use the coming weeks for recovery.

Esava Ratugolea injured his hamstring, which was obvious during the game. It's actually the opposite side to the injury he sustained mid-season,” Geelong football boss Simon Lloyd said in a club update. 

Tom Hawkins had a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury, so that's relatively minor.

“Brad Close also had a moderate-grade lateral ankle injury, so he was unable to return to the field.

“So those three players will begin their rehabilitation program – or they already have begun – and hopefully will start to recover and shift focus on to next season.

“We've needed to be proactive in regard to some of the decisions we've needed to make, and Mark Blicavs had surgery on his shoulder yesterday.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Tyson Stengle of celebrates a goal with team mate Tom Hawkins of the Cats during the AFL First Preliminary match between the Geelong Cats and the Brisbane Lions at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 16, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Gary Rohan will have surgery on his ankle on Wednesday, and Jeremy Cameron will have surgery on his troublesome AC joint.

“It's been incredible he's been able to keep going and performing at a certain level, and it's now time to be proactive with that surgery on his AC joint, which will be on Thursday.”

Elsewhere, ruckman Rhys Stanley is a test to face the Bulldogs and will be required to prove his fitness after battling an adductor injury.

The club has also confirmed uncapped ruckman Toby Conway (ankle) and veteran midfielder Cam Guthrie (foot) both made successful returns through the VFL over the weekend.

The Cats could take a cautious approach as to whether Guthrie returns this week, while Conway could be in the selection mix if Stanley is unavailable.

“(Stanley's) running at the moment. He'll be tested with change of direction and other aspects and measures he needs to tick off throughout the week, and we'll assess his availability in the latter part of this week,” Lloyd said.

“Cam goth through the game, so (it was) a successful return from a foot injury, which is really positive – albeit it was on modified, reduced game time.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 24: Cameron Guthrie of the Cats runs the ball during the round 14 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Geelong Cats at The Gabba on June 24, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

“We'll probably go a more conservative approach with Cam this week, but again, that decision still needs to be made and assessed throughout the course of the week.

Toby Conway had a minor ankle injury the previous week and returned and looked really good. He was great in the contest, around the ground he had a big influence and (it was) a really positive game from Toby.”

Geelong will host the Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium at 7:25pm (AEST) on Saturday.

Bulldogs WON BY 25 POINTS
GMHBA Stadium