GEELONG’S Mark Blicavs could return from injury if the Cats make finals after the club decided on Tuesday he would not need surgery on his injured leg.
Blicavs will instead let the ankle heal naturally and Geelong remains hopeful he will be available in September.
The 26-year-old cracked the tibia bone in his right leg on Friday night against Adelaide when Crows midfielder Rory Sloane laid a rough tackle on him during the third quarter.
Blicavs did not have the ball at the time and had applied a shepherd.
The Cats utility left the ground immediately before travelling home on crutches, with scans on Monday also revealing syndesmosis damage in the midfielder's right ankle.
Geelong sits second on the ladder and remains in contention for a top-four spot, but have a tough run home playing three games against other teams in the top six spots on the ladder, as well as games against Carlton and Collingwood, teams it has not beaten since 2015.
The loss of Blicavs is a significant one in regard to the structure of Geelong's side, with the 198cm big man able to fill a number of roles as an inside midfielder, a running wingman and even as a back-up ruckman this season.
The Cats have been playing tall pair Zac Smith and Rhys Stanley together in recent weeks, along with Blicavs, as they continue work out their best ruck combination leading into finals.
The 2015 Carji Greeves medallist has been in good form over the past month, averaging 16.8 disposals and had kicked five goals from his past four matches with his ability to create matchup problems for the opposition utilised more effectively.
Meanwhile, a decision on small forward Lincoln McCarthy's season will be made soon according to Hocking.
McCarthy has not played since round three due to an ongoing groin injury that has not settled as well as the club would have liked.
The Cats sent McCarthy to Canberra last week to visit a couple of specialists and he also made the trip to Adelaide with the team at the weekend and saw another specialist over there as well.
"We're just gathering information and we've done a bit of work with Linc to work through that and what that looks like," Hocking said.
"Whether he requires further surgery or whether it's just a rehabilitation period … that's where that one's at."
Veteran defender Andrew Mackie (illness), Nakia Cockatoo (hamstring) and Brandan Parfitt (hamstring) are all in the mix to return for Saturday night's clash against Carlton.
Wylie Buzza did not play in the VFL at the weekend but will be available to play, while Darcy Lang (leg) will be tested on the track this week.