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Ablett unavailable until final AFL round

Geelong star Gary Ablett won’t play until the final round of the AFL season after being told he can’t enter Queensland until September 1 before then completing 14 days in COVID-19 quarantine.

The Cats had hoped Ablett would receive an exemption from the Queensland government so he could travel ahead of the next AFL-designated flight and begin his period of isolation early.

However they have been advised he can’t do so without entering a hard quarantine which would mean forgoing training.

Ablett will now travel with the large AFL party on 1 September and then serve his 14 days in the AFL’s transition hub 3.

“While Gary and the club are disappointed, we understand the importance of staying diligent in the fight against COVID-19,” General Manager of Football Simon Lloyd said.

“The Queensland government and health officials have been first class throughout this time in supporting clubs and the game.”

The Geelong forward returned home from the hub for family reasons a month ago with the club’s support.

It was hoped at one stage he and Richmond’s Shane Edwards, who hasn’t left Victoria due to the birth of his baby this month, could quarantine in a private residence so they could train together.

“Gary will continue to train before coming into Queensland on 1 September,” Lloyd said.

“We look forward to Gary and his family joining us once the quarantine is complete.”

Ablett will next be available for the round 18 clash against Sydney, the location of which is still to be decided.

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