INCLUSIONS FOR CATS; BOMBER DEFENDS
GEELONG Coach Mark Thompson remains adamant theyll get at least up to four players back from injury, including Captain Steven King as the Cats attempt to arrest their mid-season form slump.
Having lost three of their past four games, the Cats coach defended his skippers recent media criticism saying he has played through pain this season and isnt expecting big things from the 26-year-old immediately.
King has not played since round 11, being troubled by a persistent calf injury, which also follows a shoulder reconstruction in the off-season.
It will still take a fair while (for his shoulder to improve) the thing he is being quite brave actually playing the game and helping us out and getting his hands on the ball in the ruck and playing a role, Thompson said.
Its very wrong of some people just to judge him (King) on one aspect of the game.
Meanwhile David Johnson (hamstring), Andrew Mackie (hip) are both in line for a recall, while big man Brad Ottens is no certainty of playing against Hawthorn with a groin injury, as he failed to train.
Hes got some small muscles somewhere in his groin that are strained, Thompson said.
Thompson says the break came at a good time, given some of his key players have had extra time to recover from injuries and reflect on their season so far.
All the players that played really well at the start of the year, just got tired, and just didnt have the same impact that they had (earlier in the season), he said.
We obviously got a few injuries so saying that, we had a week off, hopefully well get some back this week, more back next week and we can just kick start the season again.
Its probably a good thing really, its a reality check we didnt play well, we lost games, some players have had a bit of a spell through injury . which should serve them well to have a three or four week period when they dont play.
While the Cats attempt to consolidate their top-four spot, Thompson believes his team has to be wary of Hawthorns overuse of the football, saying that it could work in their favour.
What theyve done is theyre playing a style that suits their personnel, its unique its quite different to everybody elses and weve just got to be ready for it, he said.
Geelong has won three of its last encounters against Hawthorn by an average margin of 51 points.
GEELONG CAPTAIN STEVEN KING, FLANKED BY FORMER SKIPPER BEN GRAHAM