GEELONG tall Rhys Stanley remains hopeful of resuming his career in the NAB Challenge after missing the second half of 2016 with a broken foot.
The 24-year-old has made slow but steady progress this pre-season and recently re-joined full training.
He said the medical staff was happy with his progress and it was likely he would play at least one game for the Cats in the NAB Challenge.
The versatile ruckman showed promise after crossing from St Kilda during the 2014 trade period but injured his foot midway through the round 11 clash with Port Adelaide.
At the time he was in solid form, but his foot required surgery and he was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
"I think with the full training I’m able to do, I feel that if I can fully train and tick that off, there’s no reason I couldn’t play," Stanley said.
Stanley is one of several big Cats capable of playing in the ruck, with Zac Smith, Mark Blicavs, Nathan Vardy and Mitch Clark all experienced in the role.
However the Cats are hopeful Blicavs, Vardy and Clark will spend limited time in the ruck this season.
"I think that’s the sort of competition that’s healthy – that real competitiveness," Stanley said.
"There’s some big ruckmen in the League and we probably don’t have the biggest body guys but with that really competitive stuff we’ve been doing, I think that’s going to hold us in good stead."