GEELONG will enter Thursday night's qualifying final against Port Adelaide more refreshed after "limping" into recent finals series, according to captain Joel Selwood.
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Selwood headlines the string of Cats managed in the second half of the season, with the club acknowledging it hadn't rested senior players enough in recent seasons.
By Thursday night's first bounce, Selwood will have played just one game in 48 days, while Gary Ablett enters with one hitout since July after returning to Victoria and being forced to quarantine in Queensland upon his return.
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Rhys Stanley will be available after missing three games with a groin injury, with hard nut Tom Atkins also managed in the round 18 nail-biting win over Sydney with soreness.
"We are as healthy as what we've ever been, which is really exciting for our group," Selwood said on Wednesday before departing for Adelaide.
"We've sort of limped into a few finals (series) at times, whereas right now there's a buzz around in these corridors (in the Gold Coast hub)."
Selwood was put on ice for four matches late in the season with a view to building training consistency after coach Chris Scott conceded the Cats had to "save Joel from himself".
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"I probably knew that match fitness would be a little bit limited if I was going to do it the way that we planned on doing it, but I was always okay with that," Selwood said.
"It was more to make sure the body is in as good nick as it possibly can be.
"I'm up and running, I'm feeling good. I got a number of sessions back-to-back which I haven't quite done for a long time so that's the exciting part about it."
The Cats will land in Adelaide with a squad of up to 28 players on Wednesday afternoon before heading to the Adelaide Oval for a captain's run ahead of Thursday night's clash.