CHRIS Scott has conceded Geelong medicos made a line-ball decision to clear gun forward Jeremy Cameron from a pre-game fitness test on his hamstring before he was subbed out of Friday night's win over Essendon.
Cameron booted three of the Cats' first four goals in their 41-point victory before he was taken out of the game in the second term with his third right hamstring injury of the year.
Scott admitted the 2019 Coleman medallist had hamstring tightness pre-match before copping a cork to the glute and further tightness before half-time.
"Iffy's probably a good description of how it was pre-game," the Cats coach said post-match.
"I think more than people realise, there are really hard decisions that need to be made by the medical staff and he had a bit of tightness there pre-game but they were confident the right decision was made for him to play.
"I'd like to defend our medical staff as much as possible because they've done a fantastic job for us this year and this was one of those really challenging decisions.
"They've got really difficult decisions to make, they don't need to defer to a coach who's got no idea what he's talking about.
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"He got a little bit of a cork up near his glute … his tightness was right down low in the hamstring. The medical staff are confident that he hasn't done a significant injury, but it was just not getting better.
"You're not looking at a significant injury. He's the best player of all time if he's got a significant injury and was doing what he's doing."
Cameron injured his right hamstring at training in January before he was withdrawn from the Cats' season-opener with a further setback and made to wait until round six for his club debut.
Bombers coach Ben Rutten conceded his side's lack of efficiency was the difference in the result at GMHBA Stadium as they kicked just eight goals despite 17 more inside 50s than the Cats.
"It played a huge part," Rutten said. "Our first quarter was really pleasing the way we moved the ball, how we competed and our contested work.
"But after that we had 60-odd inside 50s but we weren't able to convert at the rate we need to. Geelong was far more efficient and that showed on the scoreboard."
Rutten added that young midfielder Darcy Parish, who claimed the best on ground Tom Wills Medal with 43 disposals, would gain valuable experience with such a performance against a star-studded Cats engine room.
Out-of-contract star Jake Stringer booted two first-quarter goals and threatened to explode, only for his output to be limited thereafter.
"We know he has a great capacity to create something out of nothing, which we love," Rutten said.
"But we need to strike the right balance … when he's done enough to create a really good option, I think he does that pretty well most of the time, but sometimes when you've got players like that, they get a head of steam up and some confidence, and sometimes you've got to take the good with the bad."
The Bombers are expected to host Adelaide at Marvel Stadium next Friday night, while Scott indicated the Cats would likely face Carlton at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.