BOMBER SAYS OTTENS A CERTAIN STARTER
Geelong coach Mark Thompson says the recent lack of match fitness for ruckmen Steven King and Brad Ottens is not a major concern as the Cats head towards the AFL finals.
Thompson confirmed that Ottens was a definite starter for Friday night's clash against Essendon at Telstra Dome, despite missing the past five games with a groin strain.
"He's absolutely 100 per cent certain to play," said the coach.
"He has missed five or six games and he had a pretty good pre-season and didn't miss a game up until that point, so I think he will pick it up fairly quickly."
King and Ottens are expected to share most of the ruck duties for the round 18 clash, especially as big man Paul Chambers is not available as he recovers from a knee complaint.
But Thompson is confident both players can adjust immediately to the intensity of the game.
"Once you get to play six or seven seasons it doesn't take long to top up and get some form, he said.
"Kingy and Ottens will probably do the ruck work, they'll share that and play a bit forward, both of them."
The Bombers are light-on for rucking options, with Matthew Allan (knee) and Jason Laycock (calf) on the injured list.
In addition to Ottens, Geelong regained midfielder Corey Enright after a knee injury and recalled speedster Shannon Byrnes.
James Rahilly could not be considered because of an ankle injury and veteran defender Brenton Sanderson and Cameron Thurley were dropped.
Key defender Tom Harley will be sidelined for another week with a hip injury.
VFL ROUND 17 - SATURDAY 30 JULY 13:10PM
WILL HE OR WON'T HE?