GEELONG will consider handing champion Gary Ablett another rest before the finals, but will exercise caution before electing to potentially sit their veteran superstar.
Ablett limped from the field just prior to half-time during Saturday night's 27-point victory over St Kilda, having had an opposition player fall across his hip in the second term.
He returned to the field and wound back the years playing much further forward, sealing the match with two late goals to complement his 18 disposals and five marks.
Geelong coach Chris Scott said earlier in the season that he would contemplate resting the 35-year-old Ablett at the midway point of the year – a prospect that was ultimately forced upon the Cats due to a one-game suspension he served for striking in round 11.
Another rest for Ablett will be on the cards ahead of the club's finals campaign, but Geelong will first carefully consider whether it would leave him with too little footy under his belt.
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"The situation is that he's had a week off and he's had the bye," Scott said.
"There's a pre-finals bye – and now I'm certainly not getting too far ahead of myself – but there's the potential that there could be another week off after that.
"It's a bit more complicated than just saying 'yeah let's chop him out'. There is a risk that some of our guys might not get enough footy. But, yes, it is a consideration."
The Little Master had 18 disposals to go with his two goals for the night. Picture: AFL Photos
Ablett returned after half-time on Saturday night, but then left the field of play again for around 10 minutes in the third quarter as he received more treatment on his hip.
However, despite battling soreness for the remainder of the match, the veteran soldiered on and finished the game to end as one of its most influential players.
Despite the setback, Geelong is confident he will be OK to meet Hawthorn next Sunday.
"I'm not exactly sure how he's pulled up," Scott said.
"He was limited. We were aware that if he could go back on, that he would be limited in the second half. Obviously, we made sure the risk of putting him out there wasn't too great.
"The fact that he stayed out there was a really good sign. I shouldn't comment on what other clubs do, but our policy is if a guy is going to risk game time the following week then we're loathe to put him back on – even if the game is tight.
"I thought he was pretty important in the last quarter. He won some contests, even though he wasn't 100 per cent healthy."