JACK Steven is set to miss Geelong's pending trip to face Greater Western Sydney that will include Joel Selwood and Mitch Duncan, who have overcome injury-riddled pre-seasons.
Coach Chris Scott said it was "unlikely" his new recruit would tackle the Giants should Saturday's clash go ahead at Giants Stadium.
Steven was one of the Cats' best in their Marsh Community Series match against Essendon, collecting 26 disposals last Monday.
However, the Cats have opted to take the cautious approach on Steven, who battled a calf injury earlier in pre-season and played just seven matches last year for St Kilda after an ongoing battle with his mental health.
"It's unlikely we'll play Jack Steven," Scott said via conference call on Wednesday.
FIXTURE SHAKE-UP Clubs ready for 'home' games in enemy territory
"We're really happy with what he'll provide us with longer-term but we just think his preparation has proven to hold back a week with him.
"This is one where we'd prefer to be a little bit cautious with Jack.
"He's coming from a long way back with his preparation, not just this pre-season but the previous 12 months.
"That's a call we've decided to make a little bit more proactively, which is why I'm prepared to say that's the probable outcome on Wednesday even though we don't play until Saturday.
"He did enough to indicate he's OK to play in his game against Colac, he was one of our better players."
Selwood has been cleared to play despite not featuring in any practice matches this pre-season hamstring tendon surgery in November.
Duncan was also racing the clock after a shoulder surgery was followed by a hip clean-up that limited the wingman's preparation to just one VFL practice match last week.
Mark O'Connor, Sam Menegola, Brandan Parfitt and Jack Henry – all of whom had interrupted pre-seasons – are in line to play.
Scott said a decision was still to be made on the Cats' ideal ruck set-up, likely to be down to Rhys Stanley or Darcy Fort.
CAPTAINS SURVEY Four clubs snubbed for finals, Brownlow tips, more
Scott said he had a simple message to his players as they ponder their chances of playing on Saturday before the AFL makes a call in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus.
"Just keep your head in a crisis, that would be the simple message," he said.
"Let's be prepared as we possibly can be, but agile enough when things change, we can keep calm and focus on what's important in the moment."