IN A warning for AFL Fantasy players
who are on the lookout for cheap ruckmen, Geelong coach Chris Scott says the workload of Dawson Simpson and Hamish McIntosh will be closely managed this year.
Both big men have battled injuries in recent seasons, and the Cats are desperate for them to last the distance in 2014.
"I think in combination we're confident that we'll get a full season out of them," Scott told AFL.com.au.
"Individually, I can guarantee you we won't, because we have plans to manage their seasons. They won't play every game.
"Hopefully all of our decisions are by design and not forced upon us by injuries, but the early indications are pretty positive.
"But we're realistic as well. Hamish has played eight games in three years. Dawson's had two lots of back surgery and a knee issue towards the end of last season.
"So we're optimistic, but we're also aware of the hurdles that they have faced."
Tom Hawkins is another player whose workload will be managed throughout the season.
But like McIntosh and Simpson, the big forward has enjoyed a very good pre-season.
"All indications on the track are that he's going really positively," Scott said.
"To compare this pre-season to last – really, there's no comparison.
"His physical issues are being managed really well. If you ask him … the back issue is something that's in the past for him."
The club remains hopeful that livewire forward Steven Motlop will be back on the park early in the home and away season, despite recent surgery to treat knee tendonitis.
"He had relatively minor surgery over in London," Scott said. "Successful surgery from what we can gather. Everyone associated with the procedure seems pretty happy.
"He's back and recovering pretty well, so the early signs are good. But we won't really know until he starts moving around and starts running.
"One thing we do know is that he could be training now and preparing for the early parts of the season.
"But we made a calculated decision to think about his long-term prospects and even his prospects for this season.
"We didn't really have an interest in him being limited and playing through extreme pain and potentially falling in a bit of a hole towards the end of the season.
"So (the operation) compromises him and us a little bit short-term, but we think the medium to long-term outcome is going to be really positive."
Cats skipper Joel Selwood also recently went under the knife in an attempt to shake off a foot problem that refused to go away.
"His procedure was extremely minor," Scott said. "He's back running and is well and truly on track to play some pre-season games.
"And with the work he'd done pre-Christmas, we think that a couple of games will be enough to get him in shape to play in round one."