LOCKDOWN defender Jake Kolodjashnij is set to miss Geelong's season opener after being sent for hip surgery.
The Cats had attempted to ease the 24-year-old's ongoing pain through rest but opted to send him under the knife this week.
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The setback will restrict Kolodjashnij from running for at least six weeks – leaving just three weeks to be fit for the Cats' round one trip to face Greater Western Sydney on March 21.
It will also rule the backman out of Geelong's two Marsh Community Series matches against Gold Coast (February 22) and Essendon (March 9).
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Kolodjashnij missed the Cats' round 23 win over Carlton last season with a hip injury before returning to play all three finals – including holding Jack Riewoldt goalless in the preliminary final loss against Richmond.
The Cats also said captain Joel Selwood (hamstring), Mitch Duncan (hip) and Tom Stewart (groin) were progressing well ahead of the Marsh Series despite continuing to train away from the main group.