HE'S BACK: Mitchell White, named on the half-forward flank, and David Clarke at training last night. Photo: REG RYAN  
Friday, August 9

GEELONG'S injury woes will keep opportunistic forward Aaron Lord out of Sunday's crunch match against St Kilda.

Lord, who was a late withdrawal from last week's match against the Kangaroos with a groin strain, was restricted to running exercises at training last night and was not named in the side to tackle the Saints.

The injury also means the Cats will rely on goalsneak Ronnie Burns to provide some support to number one forward Kent Kingsley.

Burns has been struggling to find the ball lately, but coach Mark Thompson said Lord's injury ruled out any chance of dropping the out-of-sorts forward.

``Ronnie will play but he needs to improve his performance a bit,'' he said.

``He had 11 possessions in the second half last week, but his opponent probably had 15, so he needs to work on his game.

``I've spoken to him - the headmaster has never got the whip out, I'm just trying to help him through it.

``If Lord doesn't play, we've got to put someone out there, it's a balancing act.''

Skipper Ben Graham, who was named at centre half-forward, will have until tomorrow morning to prove his fitness.

Graham suffered a calf injury in the early stages of last week's match and Thompson rated him an 80 per cent chance to get up for Sunday, despite his inability to train throughout the week.

``He ran today and we're going to name him,'' Thompson said.

``We will have to look at him on Saturday morning, but I'm more confident after today's running.''

Thompson said the match would be a danger game, with the Saints back to near full strength, while Geelong was battling to overcome injuries.

``It will be a tough game,'' he said.

``St Kilda is in the best form of the season and they're playing pretty confidently. This will be a difficult game.''

He said the Cats would need a dramatic turnaround from the disappointing performance against the Kangaroos last week if they were to be a chance on Sunday.

``It was the first time in nine weeks we've played poorly,'' he said.

``The real challenge is to get them back playing the way they did before last week. But the way they trained on Tuesday I'm pretty confident.''

White has also been named in the Cats squad, along with James Bartel, Marc Woolnough, Peter Street and rookie Will Slade.

Gary Ablett junior was omitted while Darren Milburn is out with a shoulder injury.

The squad will be cut by three players tonight.