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Scott confident Ablett will continue playing in 2020

Highlights: Geelong v Western Bulldogs The Cats and Bulldogs clash in round nine

GEELONG champion Gary Ablett is unlikely to decide his playing future until season's end, but his coach Chris Scott is confident the in-form veteran will continue into 2020.

The dual Brownlow medallist, who turned 35 on Tuesday (May 14), is in the final year of the two-year deal he signed to return to the Cats after seven years with Gold Coast.

A pivotal figure in Geelong's rise to the top of the AFL ladder this season, Ablett has reignited his glittering career by embracing a full-time move to the forward line, averaging 21 possessions and two goals a game.

Scott said the 330-gamer's management had started talks with the Cats but a decision on a new contract wasn't likely for some months.

"We've already had the conversations. They can be hard questions to answer because it's very rarely the one conversation that becomes defining. It's really a series of conversations, and he and his manager Liam Pickering have really led them this year," Scott told Channel Seven on Sunday.

"Their message is just to play out the season and cross that bridge when we come to it.

"Right at the moment it's hard to see any reason why he wouldn't keep going. But I think they're aware that there's a lot of footy to go (and) it's probably better to narrow everyone's focus to this season and then see where we get to towards the end of the year.

"But physically (and) mentally he's in great shape."

In further good news for the Cats, Scott forecast that injury-plagued speedster Nakia Cockatoo would return from a lingering knee problem sometime after their bye in round 13, most likely in the vicinity of rounds 17-18.

The talented 22-year-old suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury in the loss to West Coast in round three last year and damaged the ligament again in a VFL game last July.

"We're really confident he'll play this year, certainly post-bye, but how quickly post-bye is a little bit hard to tell," Scott said.

"He's an important player for us, a long-term player. He's got really great capability, but he's had a couple of issues with PCLs. Around the competition we've seen some players – (Hawthorn's) Grant Birchall's the one that springs to mind – have just been a bit more problematic than expected (with PCLs).

"He's had a few soft-tissue injuries over the journey as well so we're just ultra-cautious with him at the moment but expect to see him play somewhere in the round 17-18 period."