GEELONG midfielder Nakia Cockatoo will miss up to a month after injuring his thumb in the 42-point win over Fremantle on Sunday, Cats coach Chris Scott says.

The 20-year-old demonstrated his class at the elite level against the Dockers, kicking an early contender for Goal of the Year with a clever right-foot banana.

Scott said Cockatoo would have surgery on Tuesday to repair the damage.

"Unfortunately, he's hurt his thumb. He's going to need surgery tomorrow and he's going to miss a few weeks, maybe four," Scott told Fox Footy on Monday night. 

"He's having a little bit of a tough run."

Knee and adductor issues have restricted Cockatoo's progress at the Cats since being recruited at pick No.10 in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft.

Scott said he admired the youngster's ability to manage difficulties well.

"Coaches always loathe to get too excited about young players, but one thing we do love about Nakia (is) he takes his stuff in his stride," Scott said. 

"The doctors were talking to him today and his reaction was something to the effect of, 'OK, I'll be back in three weeks and continue where I left off'." 

Cockatoo has made 22 appearances for the Cats and kicked 15 goals.