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Danger faces fitness test, Cats 'considering options' over Ablett

Will Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett play? - AFL,Geelong Cats,Patrick Dangerfield,Gary Ablett,Fantasy,Injuries
Will Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett play?

SUPERSTAR Patrick Dangerfield will be given until the eve of Geelong's clash with North Melbourne on Sunday to prove his fitness as the Cats continue to ponder resting Gary Ablett.  

Dangerfield was kept indoors during Thursday's main session at GMHBA Stadium as he attempts to overcome a minor knee strain sustained in last week's win over Essendon.  

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While all but ticking off Joel Selwood's return from soreness, coach Chris Scott left the door ajar for Ablett to miss despite beating his one-match ban at the Tribunal on Tuesday night.

Ablett was confined to individual running with a bandaged right thigh as his teammates completed match simulation, before the 34-year-old departed the track early.

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"We're still considering our options, but the likelihood is that he'll play," Scott said before training. 

"I'll reiterate, I'll be staggered if he plays every game this year.

"There are a lot of things that go into it, but what we will say is that the upcoming opposition is a small part of it, there are much bigger things to consider.

"His health is just so good at the moment, it's more his health than his form. The reason that we think he's going to play this week is that he's bouncing around the corridors feeling really good." 

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Scott said Dangerfield would be named as part of an extended squad on Thursday night but would face a fitness test on Saturday in order to face the Roos at Marvel Stadium.  

"We tend to name them in those circumstances but if you're a 'Dream Teamer' (AFL Fantasy coach), I wouldn't be paying too much attention," Scott said.  

"It'll depend a little bit on how he goes today (Thursday) with some of the stuff they put him through, a lot of that will be inside.

"I think it's likely that he'll be a day before the game proposition.  

"It'll be clear cut for us, he'll either be able to function or not. It's not a matter of him risking further injury, that's the reassuring thing.  

"If there were serious doubts that he might do further damage or risk his chances of playing in subsequent weeks then he would've been ruled out already."

Scott was confident Selwood would play alongside certain starter Zach Tuohy after the experienced duo missed last week through soreness.  

"The two that missed last week, Joel Selwood, will be available, we think, and Zach Tuohy will be available," he said.  

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Both Selwood and Tuohy were on the track on Thursday.

Esava Ratugolea, who trained with the main group, continues to be monitored with concussion and remains in doubt which could open the door for one of three inclusions – Ryan Abbott, Zac Smith or potential debutant Darcy Fort.

In positive injury news, Lachie Fogarty (hip surgery) and Jed Bews (osteitis pubis) will both play their first games of the season in the VFL on Sunday after long injury layoffs.