A SELF-CONFESSED "terrible" spectator of football, Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield is tracking to return from injury for the Cats' round 13 clash with Port Adelaide.
The 2016 Brownlow medallist has been missing since round five as he deals with the most serious injury of his glittering 271-game career.
After missing three games through suspension from rounds two to four, Dangerfield suffered a syndesmosis ankle injury against North Melbourne in April that required surgery.
The 31-year-old is itching to return, having been restricted to just two games this season, but Geelong are likely to take a cautious approach with him as they aim to be firing come finals time.
Dangerfield said a realistic comeback game was against the Power at Adelaide Oval on June 10, directly after Geelong's bye.
"I'd love to play before the bye, but I don't know how realistic that is," he said at GMHBA Stadium on Monday.
"Given the context of the season and where we're at there's also an element of being smart in how we play it out.
"I'd certainly be hopeful of playing immediately after that (the bye) if not before, but I doubt it.
"Everything's going really well at the moment ... trying to push the physios as much as I can and I'm back running this week."
After a slow start to the season following last year's devastating grand final loss to Richmond, the Cats find themselves third on the ladder at 6-3.
The highlight was their demolition of the Tigers two weeks ago in the grand final rematch.
Despite Geelong's return to form, Dangerfield has found watching games difficult.
"Watching is terrible, it's nowhere near as good as playing. That's pretty clear to me now," he said.
"I suppose I've been pretty lucky throughout my career (with injuries) so sometimes you just cop the rough end.
"It gives you a different appreciation for how we play ... we constantly remind ourselves how hard it is to play the game because it's a lot easier from the stands."