Geelong are racing against the clock to have two stars fit for the AFL finals, with Jeremy Cameron and Rhys Stanley both under injury clouds.
Key forward Cameron suffered a low-grade right hamstring strain during the final stages of last week’s big win over Gold Coast.
It is the same leg in which he suffered three hamstring injuries last year.
The minor premier Cats expect Cameron to be fit for their qualifying final in week one, with the 29-year-old having three weeks to recover from the setback.
“We chose to take a no-risk policy and decided not to have him return to the field,” Geelong medical and conditioning boss Harry Taylor said.
“Jeremy has assessed well, and scans confirmed low-level fluid consistent with a minor strain.
“We will track his progress through the week and he will be managed according to benchmark measures.”
The setback rules Cameron out of Coleman Medal contention.
The former GWS forward has kicked 59 goals for the season – three fewer than Charlie Curnow – and would have been a good chance to overtake the Carlton star at the top of the leaderboard with a big haul against lowly West Coast at GHMBA Stadium on Saturday.
Stanley will also miss the Eagles clash, having suffered a low-grade strain to his adductor.
“Rhys will begin a reconditioning program that we expect will have him available for selection for the first final,” Taylor said.
Back-up ruckman Jonathon Ceglar is in the frame to replace Stanley in the Geelong team, while Esava Ratugolea is also fit if required but has been playing as a key defender in the VFL.
Meanwhile, Fremantle are a good chance to regain captain Nat Fyfe for Saturday’s important meeting with GWS in Canberra.
Fyfe is close to recovering from a hamstring injury and faces a test later this week, while Roy Lobb is in some doubt after being substituted out of last week’s derby win over West Coast.
“Rory’s been dealing with a few knocks and bruises through his chest and shoulder region, so he’ll be a test to play this week,” Dockers high performance manager Phil Merriman said.
“Nathan’s got to get through training on Wednesday, and if so, he should be available to play.”
The sixth-placed Dockers need to beat GWS and rely on other results falling their way in order to sneak into the top-four.
The Giants have lost Tanner Bruhn (concussion) and Lachlan Keeffe (groin) for their last game of the season, while Tim Taranto and James Peatling are likely to return from concussion protocols.
Ruckman Braydon Preuss faces a test after missing last week with a shoulder complaint.
Bobby Hill is a chance to play in the VFL on Saturday, having increased his training loads after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer at the start of June.