MATURE-AGE small forward Brad Close will make his debut for Geelong against Fremantle on Monday as the Cats prepare to be without Luke Dahlhaus for several weeks due to a foot injury.
AFL.com.au understands the 21-year-old Close, who tasted premiership success for Glenelg in the SANFL last year, will be unleashed at Optus Stadium.
Taken at pick No.14 in last year's Rookie Draft, the South Australian has impressed in recent scratch matches and this week trained with the AFL line-up in match simulation.
The pressure forward continues the long line of success for the Cats with mature-age recruits after Tom Stewart (2017), Tim Kelly (2018) and Tom Atkins (2019).
Draftee Francis Evans is also in the frame to debut after he was an emergency for the Cats in last week's loss to Collingwood, while Lachie Fogarty will be considered for his first game of the season.
Dahlhaus will join fellow small forward Gary Ablett (personal leave) as one of four forced changes for date with the Dockers.
"We've had a little bit more bad news, Luke Dahlhaus is going to miss a period of weeks with a foot issue," coach Chris Scott told reporters.
"It's medium-term, it's not a matter of him being back in a couple of weeks. He'll be a little bit longer than that.
"The onset was quite slow and it took us all a little bit by surprise."
However, the Cats will be bolstered by the return of All-Australian defender Tom Stewart and experienced midfielder Mitch Duncan against the Dockers.
Stewart hasn't played since suffering a shoulder injury in the round four win over Melbourne, while Duncan missed the round seven clash with Collingwood with a tight hamstring.
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"There's no doubt about those two, they were close last week," Scott said.
"With a decent break between the last game and this one we always expected them to come up for this one and they've trained well enough already this week for us to be convinced they'll play."
Luke Dahlhaus (foot) joining Gary Ablett (leave) out of Geelong’s small forward ranks.— Mitch Cleary (@cleary_mitch) July 24, 2020
Opens the door for Lachie Fogarty to play his first game of 2020 and first-year pair Brad Close & Francis Evans.
Close (who won SANFL flag last year) spent the week training with AFL side
Scott also said tough midfielder Tom Atkins (ribs) and ruckman Rhys Stanley (knee) were in the mix to play against West Coast in round nine.
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"It is a short turnaround of five days into the West Coast game, but they should be closer," Scott said of Atkins and Stanley.