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Hamstring strain sidelines Cats' prodigal son

Gray ban, Freo's growth, impatient Vince Footy Feed with Matt Thompson and Nat Edwards

GARY Ablett has suffered a slight hamstring strain, but Geelong is confident the star midfielder will be fit to play in its second JLT Community Series game.

Ablett left training early after experiencing hamstring tightness during a match simulation session last Thursday.

The Cats confirmed on Monday morning that scans had revealed the former Gold Coast captain had suffered a minor strain.

Geelong had never planned to play Ablett in its opening JLT game on Sunday against Gold Coast in Townsville.

Ablett's final four seasons with the Suns were plagued by shoulder and knee injuries that restricted him to 49 of a possible 88 games.

But the on-baller told News Ltd last week his body felt "really great" ahead of the upcoming season.

"I've been able to get a lot of running in and I've done a lot of strength work in the gym to give myself the best opportunity to perform during the season," Ablett said.

"There has been a lot of talk about me not playing that many games over the last three years, but I think it's important not to forget I've had two shoulder reconstructions and there hasn't really been any soft-tissue stuff.

"Sometimes those injuries take time to come back from. I had some complications with the shoulder, which was a little bit frustrating, but there is only a certain amount in my control.

"I was doing everything I could to get myself up every week so you just move forward and look forward to pre-season and getting the work into the body, and it is feeling really well."

Ablett rejoined the Cats in last year's trade period after seven seasons with the Suns.

The midfielder is already one of Geelong's all-time greats, having been a key player in both the 2007 and 2009 premierships and won the 2009 Brownlow Medal.