GUN Geelong midfielder Mitch Duncan is in doubt for the Cats' season-opener after back-to-back calf setbacks this summer.
Duncan is expected to sit out both pre-season hitouts against Collingwood (February 26) and Essendon (March 6), putting him in a battle for round one against Adelaide (March 20).
The 29-year-old strained a calf earlier this month, the second complaint on the same muscle this pre-season.
"He's got a calf that is going to slow him down for the next few weeks," coach Chris Scott told AFL.com.au on Tuesday.
"I'd be surprised if, and this is me talking - I'm not the doctor or the head physio - I'd suspect he might miss a bit of the pre-season games which might leave him in a slower position to start the season.
"These things are more complicated than 'he's done it twice'. He had a minor issue with his calf and was looking like he was getting back into full training and had another minor issue."
Defender Tom Stewart will return to full training on Wednesday after recent quad tightness and be joined by boom recruit Jeremy Cameron for the first time after his recent setback.
The 2019 Coleman medallist strained his hamstring in January and has been edging back to full fitness that will have him ready to face the Crows at Adelaide Oval.
"We would expect him to get some match practice against Collingwood and play some game time against Essendon," Scott said of Cameron.
"That would suggest he's on track for round one, he's done a lot of work.
"One of the advantages the new players (Cameron, Isaac Smith, Shaun Higgins) into our system had was that their previous teams didn't make the finals so they've effectively had four weeks' longer preparation which gives them a little buffer for these hiccups that can happen."
Eight-time All-Australian Patrick Dangerfield is ramping up his fitness, working through a persistent groin injury that has required multiple weekly sessions in Adelaide with medical guru Steve Saunders.
Dangerfield has lifted his running intensity in recent weeks that has Cats officials buoyed he'll be fit to face his former side in a little over four weeks.
"It's really exciting for us that it looks like Pat is on track," Scott said.
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"The signs are good that the program that's been put in place is working.
"He's on track for round one, there's no reason to think he won't play. But the priority is making sure any soreness he's got is gone once and for all."
Forward Luke Dahlhaus is dealing with his own groin troubles and is under a cloud for round one, ruckman Darcy Fort (knee) will be sidelined, while Sam Simpson is recovering from shoulder surgery.