GEELONG expects Mitch Duncan to return to running post-Christmas after undergoing minor surgery on his hip.
Duncan, who was already on a modified program following an off-season shoulder operation, underwent an arthroscope in early December.
“It was one of those things where he was training, and he just pulled up sore, football boss Simon Lloyd said.
“They spent a period of a week or so trying to just work with the medical team and the physios to get him right, and it didn’t improve.
“So he went through the scans and saw the specialist, and we thought it’s best to actually intervene with this now so that he’s right come the start of the season.”
Captain Joel Selwood is slightly behind Duncan after undergoing hamstring surgery.
“He’s very close to running and he will part-train in January,” Lloyd said “I would say full-train early February, so he’s tracking along really well.
“Speaking to Joel this (Wednesday) morning, he had a big conditioning session and he said, ‘I’m gassed’.
“He’s working hard, so he’s doing a lot of cardiovascular work and he’s tracking well. We’ve got no issues.”
Lloyd also confirmed defender Jake Kolodjashnij has been battling a groin problem.
“Jake has been sore, and he’s started doing some straight-line running and it’s been a little bit slow and a little bit frustrating for us at times, but you’ve got to be mindful we’ve got time – we’ve got a lot of time,” Lloyd said.
“He will start part-training in January and our medical team will work closely on Jake … they should get him right come January-February.
The news is better for Jordan Clark, who underwent elbow surgery in September.
Lloyd says the Cats’ first pick in last year’s National Draft hasn’t missed a training session.
“He has been training with the fluorescent orange hat on, which means that if any players get near him, they’re just careful with Jordan at the moment,” he said.
“He’s well ahead of where he was at this time last year. Remembering, first-year players who do come in, their pre-season is compromised, so this is his first full pre-season.
(He) hasn’t missed a training session. He’s improved. His strength has improved below, and we’ll be doing a lot of work with Jordan with his upper-body strength over the next eight weeks.”