GEELONG coach Chris Scott is clinging to the hope that Sun Gary Ablett will see out his career at the Cats and says he will happily welcome the champion back if he wants to return.
Ablett, 32, has been ruled out for the season after requiring surgery to repair the troublesome left shoulder he injured against the Brisbane Lions in round 16 – two years and four days after he first dislocated the same shoulder.
Scott said he would "love to see" Ablett return to his former club before hanging up the boots on an illustrious career.
"I'm probably like most Geelong supporters on this one. I've always held on to the pipe dream that he might come back one day," Scott told Channel Nine on Monday night.
"I don't have any information that it's any more than that. He's welcome to come back if he likes.
"I've heard people say if he wants to come back, that's the only way it would happen and I agree with that.
"But I'll remove myself as head coach of Geelong just for a minute and put my supporter's cap on and I reckon most of us would love to see him come back. Now, is it going to happen? Unlikely, I would've thought."
Scott acknowledged he would need more time to consider whether an Ablett return would be viable for the Cats, but said he would not argue with the club's senior administration if it were deemed a worthy trade option.
The Cats coach added he would happily catch up with Ablett mid-season to discuss his future.
"If (recruiting chief) Stephen Wells, (football manager) Steve Hocking and (chief executive) Brian Cook said to me, 'We think it's a good idea from a list management perspective', I don't think I'd argue too hardly with them," Scott said.
Ablett, a dual premiership player and Brownlow medallist, played 192 games for the Cats, before joining expansion club Gold Coast at the end of 2010.
He has appeared in 96 games for the Suns but has been hampered by shoulder, knee and foot issues during his time in Queensland.