GEELONG is set to ring the changes in the midst of its hectic schedule, with captain Joel Selwood and gun recruit Jack Steven likely to headline a number of key inclusions ahead of Wednesday evening's clash with North Melbourne.
No.1 ruck option Rhys Stanley is also set to provide the Cats with a valuable boost out of the centre, while hardened midfielder Tom Atkins is another who is likely to return to the fold this week.
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Young midfielder Charlie Constable is unavailable, having suffered a concussion in Saturday night's narrow nine-point loss to West Coast, with Geelong coach Chris Scott suggesting his side will "probably" rest players during its stint of four games in 14 days.
Quinton Narkle is unlikely to recover from a hamstring problem to return for Wednesday's clash, but is in the frame to meet St Kilda next Monday night, while fellow promising youngster Nakia Cockatoo remains "four or five" games away from proving his fitness.
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However, the Cats will be bolstered by captain Selwood's return from two games on the sidelines due to a hamstring issue against the Kangaroos in their upcoming midweek fixture.
"I'm pretty optimistic that he will play," Scott said.
"We just want to wait a little bit longer, just to see how those guys go physically before we absolutely make that decision.
"I was as transparent as I could be last week, in that I suspected he could have played last Saturday. That always had me optimistic that he would be OK for this Wednesday game."
Geelong has been impressed by the development of uncapped youngsters like Nathan Kreuger, Cooper Stephens, Ben Jarvis and Francis Evans. However, they appear unlikely to make their AFL debuts in this condensed fixture block.
But the Cats will have Steven available for Wednesday's clash with the Kangaroos, with the new recruit playing only one game in the last month as the club carefully manages his return to action.
"He is (in the mix) actually," Scott said.
"I think there's a very good chance he will play. We've got a short break into our St Kilda game on Monday, so he will play this one or that one."
Stanley will also be available to meet Todd Goldstein on Wednesday, having missed six games due to a knee injury, which will provide Geelong with some much-needed relief in the ruck.
His inclusion should see Mark Blicavs return to his customary role in the backline, with either Lachie Henderson or Harry Taylor expected to be rested throughout the next series of fixtures.
"The ruck decision seems to be pretty crucial most weeks," Scott said.
"I think it's likely that Stanley will play, which will be really good for us. We have confidence that we've got a bit of depth there, but once we moved past Darcy Fort and Stanley … we are tending to play guys who we think play in the ruck as their secondary position.
"It will be nice to have a genuine No.1 guy back."