Jhye Clark warms up before Geelong's clash against Richmond in round nine, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

TOP-10 pick Jhye Clark could be sidelined for the next couple of months after Geelong discovered a navicular stress reaction in his foot last week, while young star Max Holmes has undergone knee surgery on Tuesday. 

Clark made his debut against Richmond in round nine and showed glimpses of his top-end talent after entering the game late as the sub. 

The 18-year-old was set to play in the 22 and face Fremantle when he reported soreness in his foot last Wednesday and was sent for scans.

Clark will spend the next fortnight in a moonboot and then slowly start working his way back to full fitness. 

The Cats are confident last year's No.8 pick will play some football in the second half of the season, but will take an extra cautious approach given the investment in the Queenscliff product and the scars of foot issues in the past. 

Current head of player development Matthew Egan suffered a career-ending navicular fracture in 2007 when he was named All-Australian.

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Toby Conway is currently recovering from a foot issue, while Jack Henry returned from a second bout of foot surgery last weekend. 

Holmes won't feature until after Geelong's mid-season bye in round 13 after suffering an injury in the 29-point loss to the Dockers that required surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee. 

After being the heartbreak story in last year's Grand Final, Holmes has been one of the big improvers at GMHBA Stadium across the first 10 rounds, averaging career-high numbers for disposals (19.4), contested possessions (8.2), tackles (4.9) and inside 50s (4.4).

Max Holmes celebrates a goal during the round eight match between Geelong and Adelaide on May 6, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Premiership pair Sam De Koning and Gary Rohan have both returned to full training after missing the past three weeks and are on track to return against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday, along with Ollie Henry who missed the trip to Perth due to a ruptured testicle.

De Koning has endured a luckless start to 2023, experiencing knee and concussion issues across the first couple of months of the season, before requiring surgery to repair a nasal and maxillary bone fracture a few weeks ago.

Rohan is pressing to return from the hamstring strain that has sidelined the speedster since the win over Essendon in round seven.

Captain Patrick Dangerfield is edging closer to a return to full fitness but won’t be available this weekend and is aiming to return against the Western Bulldogs in round 12. 

The Brownlow medallist has missed the past two games against Richmond and Fremantle after injuring his hamstring against Adelaide in round eight.

Patrick Dangerfield looks on during Geelong training on May 10, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Mitch Duncan is expected to miss at least another game after suffering a hamstring strain at training last week, but like Dangerfield, the two-time premiership midfielder might not return until after the bye. 

After recovering from 0-3 to be 5-3, the reigning premiers are 5-5 after back-to-back losses against sides that played in September last year.

Geelong faces the Giants at home in Toby Greene's 200th game this weekend before heading to Marvel Stadium for a Saturday night blockbuster against the Western Bulldogs ahead of the bye.