By Luke Voogt
Jeremy Cameron looks likely to return for Geelong’s clash with West Coast on Saturday afternoon pending the “green light” from Cats medical staff.
“Jezza completed a big session on Saturday at high volume and speed, with a large part of that being football,” Cats football general manager Simon Lloyd said.
“He trained with Sam Simpson and Harry Taylor and also completed group training with the forwards.
“We’re expecting him to be available pending getting through training in the coming days and everything being ticked off by our conditioning and medical team.”
Cats coach Chris Scott was confident the star forward would return but declined to confirm he would play.
“I don’t want my desire for him to play to overshadow what the right decision is,” he told a press conference yesterday.
“This one’s not a coaching decision – once he gets the green light from the medical and conditioning staff, then he’ll play.”
Geelong’s hopes for Cameron to return this weekend come as Patrick Dangerfield underwent surgery for an ankle injury sustained in the Cats’ win over North Melbourne last Sunday.
The club on Wednesday evening announced Dangerfield would be “out of action indefinitely”.
“Our initial assessment was that he was likely to play this week,” Scott admitted.
“He was actually able to function quite well, even to the point where has wasn’t subbed out of the game.
“As the assessment progressed over the week, with multiple opinions and the requisite time to make the right decision, surgery was clearly the best option.
“It was an exhaustive process to make sure we’ve got the right outcome.
“You’ve got to be careful that the result that you want doesn’t cloud [judgement on] what is the right result in the long term.”
The star midfielder’s absence would give other Geelong players a chance to step up, according to Scott.
“If you’re around long enough you go through periods where you have a little bit of bad luck,” he said.
“But there’s opportunity in that as well and that’s the way I’m choosing to look at it.
“The opportunity there is to bring in some players who wouldn’t have otherwise got that chance.
“It’s certainly not an environment where we’re all feeling sorry for ourselves and [we are thinking] if only we can get a few players back, then we’ll start playing well.”
Mark O’Connor and Sam Simpson are likely to be available this weekend, as Scott looks to nullify West Coast’s star-studded midfield.
Earlier in the week Brandan Parfitt, one Geelong’s best against North Melbourne, said he was looking forward to taking on former teammate Tim Kelly.
“I think we have to limit the amount of damage he can do but they’ve got some other quality midfielders as well,” Parfitt said.
“I’m not sure if we’ll go with the tagging role or anything like that, but we’ll have to definitely do something.”
Parfitt has impressed so far in the midfield 2021, especially with his defensive and tackling pressure.
“I was pretty consistent all four quarters but I think the next step is to back up it now throughout my career,” he said.
Geelong also faces the three-pronged attack of Jack Darling, Josh Kennedy and Oscar Allen, a challenge captain Joel Selwood said the Cats defence would be ready for.
“It’s one thing our defence doesn’t lack, a bit of height,” Selwood said.