GEELONG is hopeful that Paul Chapman will be fit enough to line up in its VFL team this weekend.
The 31-year-old, who only recently fell outside the top 50 in the Official AFL Player Ratings, has been sidelined since round four by soreness in his right hamstring.
He was due to make his long-awaited return in last Friday night's VFL game against Collingwood, only to be grounded late in the week by a problem with his 'good' leg.
"During training, in his lead-up to playing on Friday night, he had an irritation to his left hamstring," Geelong physio Mike Snelling told CatsTV.
"It's very minor. We expect him to go through his paces this week, and he'll be a test for the VFL this weekend."
Defensive midfielder Taylor Hunt is set to return to the Cats' AFL side after being a late withdrawal from the team that lost to Adelaide by two points on Sunday.
"Unfortunately, on the day before the game he rolled his ankle," Snelling said. "He was just walking, really. He trod on someone's foot.
"Then we tested him at the ground and he didn't come up, so we've got to go through his rehab process this week and hopefully he'll get up."
Another member of Geelong's running brigade, Mathew Stokes, is also likely to be selected for Saturday night's game against St Kilda at Simonds Stadium, despite suffering an ankle injury in the loss to the Crows.
Stokes' ankle was wrenched when it became caught under an opponent.
"He's pulled up pretty well, actually," Snelling said. "Hopefully he's going to train on Thursday, and if get gets through everything there, then we'll test him for the weekend as well."
But fellow onballer Allen Christensen is battling to shrug off the hamstring problem that forced him to miss the recent matches against Melbourne and Adelaide.
"He's had a little back, pelvic hamstring-related issue," Snelling explained.
"He's had an extensive amount of treatment on that, and hopefully we're getting to the root of that.
"We should expect to see him out on the training track this week."
Tom Hawkins booted two goals against the Crows, although he again looked hampered by the back problem that has curtailed his influence all year.
The big forward is likely to be given at least one week off before the finals.
"Tom has had aback issue that we're managing through the season," Cats coach Chris Scott said at his mid-week press conference. "He's actually getting better.
"We're more comfortable with the way he's moving, so while he's improving it would be unlikely that we'd take him out for the next couple of weeks. But it's a possibility."
First-year defender Jackson Thurlow will return through the VFL this weekend after being sidelined for three weeks by a fractured cheekbone.
Adam McNicol covers Geelong news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter at @AFL_AdamMcNicol