GEELONG will be without defender Tom Stewart for up to six weeks after he had surgery on Tuesday to fix a fractured eye socket.
Cats coach Chris Scott said Stewart's surgery, which saw screws used to repair the damage, had been successful but the club confirmed later he would be missing for at least a month.
However, the Cats have been buoyed by the news that first-year player Brandan Parfitt will play his first game since suffering a hamstring injury in round six against Collingwood.
Cats physiotherapist Mark Young told geelongcats.com.au on Thursday that Parfitt will play for the Geelong VFL team at Simonds Stadium on Saturday against Coburg.
Selected with pick No.26 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, Parfitt made his debut in round one and played every game before the injury, earning a nominating for the NAB Rising Star after round three.
Parfitt is one of several small forwards missing from the Cats due to injury with Nakia Cockatoo, Cory Gregson and Lincoln McCarthy on the sidelines.
Cockatoo is expected back within weeks after suffering a hamstring while McCarthy remains uncertain but hopes to play again this season after having groin surgery.
Gregson will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his foot.
Darcy Lang has been playing in the role in recent weeks and is under a cloud for Saturday's game after copping a knock to the shin.