Geelong will be without Esava Ratugolea for the foreseeable future after sending the ruck-forward in for ankle surgery.
Ratugolea was named a senior emergency for last weekend’s clash with the Giants, after being sidelined with ankle and shoulder injuries, but was removed following a training setback.
The 23-year-old hasn’t played since the Cats’ round 3 win over Collingwood.
The club’s head of medical and conditioning services, Harry Taylor, didn’t offer a timeline for Ratugolea’s post-surgery return.
“After specialist consultation, it has been decided that Esava will undergo an operation on his ankle to give him the best chance to play as soon as possible,” Taylor said.
“Following surgery today, Esava will follow a reconditioning plan that we hope has him back training and playing relatively soon.”
Jed Bews (concussion) will miss Saturday’s game against St Kilda, while Rhys Stanley (ankle) and fellow injured pair Joel Selwood and Shaun Higgins will all have to prove their fitness to return.
“Joel is recovering well from a significant cork and will be a test this week,” Taylor said.
“Shaun Higgins came out of the team with general soreness. He’ll be a test throughout the week as to his availability.”
Sam Menegola (knee/concussion) will resume training with the main group this week in a major step towards his playing return but Jack Henry (foot) won’t join him until he is “pain free”.
“Jack is progressing well in his reconditioning plan. He has increased his training loads and we hope to see Jack back out there soon,” Taylor said.
Promising Cat Max Holmes underwent ankle surgery last week and will begin a rehabilitation and reconditioning plan that Taylor said would see him back playing “in the medium term”.
Jon Ceglar (foot) has increased his running with an eye to resuming football drills but is still some way off a return, while Sam Simpson (concussion) is also making progress.