INJURY-prone Geelong youngster Nakia Cockatoo is closing in on a return to football, with coach Chris Scott revealing he is in “game preparation mode”.
The luckless 22-year-old hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury in VFL game just over 12 months ago.
“It’s likely he will play in the next couple of weeks; maybe few weeks, so that’s exciting for everyone,” coach Chris Scott said of Cockatoo, who has played just 34 games since being drafted with pick No.10 in 2014.
“We were always of the view that once he got close to playing everyone would be up-and-about, and that’s the way it’s transpired as well.
“He’s looking good.”
Brandan Parfitt is facing at another fortnight on the sidelines as he battles a back issue that ruled him out of last week’s loss to Hawthorn.
“That one’s a little bit more complicated than we would have hoped,” Scott said.
“It’s still short-term. He won’t play this week, he might be in doubt for the week after, but that’s the extent of it as we understand at the moment.”
Young defender Zach Guthrie and first-year key position player Nathan Krueger will also return closer to finals after suffering injuries in the VFL win over Casey Demons last week.
Guthrie has strained ligaments in his ankle, while Krueger has a minor knee issue after initial fears of something more serious for the South Australian.
The form of both at VFL level has seen their names both discussed at AFL selection, with the club hoping they miss no more than 2-3 weeks.