Cats opt against plans to rest Ablett
GEELONG veteran Gary Ablett is in such good early-season condition that coach Chris Scott has shelved the option of resting him for Thursday night's big AFL clash away to Adelaide.
Ablett is just a month shy of his 35th birthday and the Cats have made no secret of the fact that the two-time Brownlow medallist will be rested at times throughout the season, usually for interstate matches.
With just five days between last Saturday night's win over Melbourne and the trip to the Adelaide Oval to take on the Crows, this could well have been one of those occasions.
"This is one we earmarked but we decided not go that way because he's in such good shape," Scott said.
"I will reiterate my comments; he won't play every game this year. "Only two games in, albeit with a short break, it's not quite the right time.
"But there will be weeks where discretion will be the better part of valour.
"The forecasting and the planning is one thing ... but there's no point sticking to a hard and fast plan and not playing a guy when he's feeling really good."
Ablett is playing a new role as a near-permanent forward in 2019 and has made solid contributions in the back-to-back wins over top-four fancies Collingwood and Melbourne.
There will be at least one change for Geelong against the Crows, with Lachie Henderson replacing fellow defender Jack Henry (hamstring tightness).
"He's performed really well at VFL level and been a fantastic influence on the group," Scott said of Henderson.
"It's rare this early in the preparation that we'd make that announcement but it's just clear-cut - Lachie's going really well and we're excited to have him back in the team."
Impressive second-year player Henry may only miss the one game with the minor hamstring issue, but run-with midfielder Scott Selwood is set to spend a longer period on the sidelines.
Selwood, 29, injured a hamstring in a VFL practice match last month, with the club determined to take a cautious approach.
"He had a really good pre-season, but he's just had issues with hamstrings in the past that mean we need to prepare him to do everything we possibly can to make sure this is the last one he has in his career," Scott said.
"Because the risk is that if he keeps doing them at this stage it becomes a problem that's insurmountable."