GEELONG has left the door open for Nina Morrison to play in the opening round clash with Fremantle despite not being named for Saturday’s practice match against the Western Bulldogs.
The talented 19-year-old hasn’t played since suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament at training on February 7 – five days after starring in the Cats’ AFLW debut against Collingwood.
“Her preparation had always been set to land her for Round 1,” coach Paul Hood said.
“She’s done a power of work in her rehab and looked as well as a player possibly could look.”
Morrison is among six players not taking part in the clash with the Dogs, joining captain Mel Hickey, defender Anna Teague, fellow young gun Olivia Purcell, and draftees Mia Skinner and Gemma Wright.
Like Morrison, Hickey is also set to be right for Round 1, while Teague and Purcell are also in the frame to take on Dockers.
Teague has been recovering from a concussion suffered during the VFL season.
“(She) has just started full contact training in the last few weeks,” Hood said.
“She was sparkling last night, and she needs to put a few more of those sessions together.
“But, (she’s) tracking quite well. Anna got a concussion last year in her last game, so it’s just making sure she’s worked through all of that.”
Purcell, who earned a Rising Star nomination in 2019, is working her way back from off-season shoulder surgery.
“She’s completed a tremendous rehab and worked on a lot of other aspects of her play while she has rehabbed the shoulder and is looking really strong and stable practise with contact,” Hood said.
“We need her to do a little bit more of that, but she looks like she is well on track for Round 1.”
Both Skinner and Wright won’t be considered for Round 1.