GEELONG is confident skipper Joel Selwood is not gambling with the rest of his finals campaign by making a quicker-than-expected return from ankle surgery.
In a press conference at Simonds Stadium, coach Chris Scott said leaving Selwood out of the line-up to take on Richmond on Friday night had been a "great consideration” as the midfield champ made his way back from a syndesmosis injury suffered in Geelong's Round 20 loss to the Swans.
"It's an injury our medical staff for a start are very comfortable that is going to allow him to play,” Scott said.
"Even more importantly, it's an injury that even if he does pull up a little bit sore, which is likely, there's a very, very low risk that it is going to compromise him for future weeks.”
Scott said the approach differed to a player coming back a soft tissue problem where an early return risked aggravating the injury and consigning a player to additional weeks on the sidelines.
"He (Selwood) might be a bit sore but it's not going to be so sore that it sets it back a couple of weeks.”
Selwood is a major inclusion for the qualifying final with Scott flagging the final team would be selected with an eye towards combating Richmond's unusually small line-up.
Confirming pacey forward James Parsons would play after hurting his ankle against GWS two weeks ago, Scott said he was mindful of the Tigers' speed and lack of key talls.
"They do set up differently to most teams,” Scott said, adding that the Cats would consider going with one fewer tall players in response.
The Tigers have surrounded their sole key forward option Jack Riewoldt with a cast of fleet-footed options, while 190cm midfielder Shaun Grigg is used as the primary back-up to ruckman Toby Nankervis.
"We are going to consider the make-up of the opposition team when we pick our team'' Scott said.
Also weighing into considerations will be the cold and possible wet weather predicted for Friday nights blockbuster at the MCG.
A few days out and weather forecasters are saying the mercury will rise to miserable 12C with a 50% chance of rain on the day.
Scott said the Cats had executed their plans for last week's bye, having gone to school on their experience last year.
"We've been less conservative with our training intensity,” he said.
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