Geelong coach Chris Scott says he is tinkering with the idea of bringing two-time premiership player Travis Varcoe back into the side for their clash with the Western Bulldogs at Simonds Stadium on Sunday.
Varcoe, who kicked three goals in the Cats' grand final win in 2011, has not played since that day, but impressed Scott in his comeback game in the VFL last weekend.
The speedster picked up 23 possessions and slotted a goal in the VFL to help Matthew Knights' side to victory over Coburg, and Scott said his above-average game meant he was in contention to take on the struggling Dogs this weekend.
"We are tempted to be honest. We've had a long-term plan with Travis since he came back from his last setback. That certainly involved him playing AFL football before the end of the season," Scott said on Wednesday.
"Now the question is, 'How much is enough? How much is too much? Does the lift in intensity at AFL level make a difference?' That's something we'll wait on. I think I said last week he wouldn't play until the last round. That's changed a little bit."
Scott said Varcoe had pulled up well from his first match since winning the premiership last year.
"The nature of his injury is that he's been able to do a fair bit of running, so we're confident in his conditioning," Scott said.
"He's not as good as he normally would be, but we've got to make an assessment over the last couple of weeks of the home and away season to how good a shape he is in."
The former Brisbane Lions champion did his best to ensure Varcoe would not be harshly judged upon his eventual return, attaching the underdog tag square on the speedster.
"To be honest, if it doesn't work out for Trav, it makes sense, doesn't it?" he said.
"It's illogical that he could miss the whole year and come back and be a fantastic player at the end of the season. But knowing Trav the way we do, we're not ruling that possibility out."
In other injury news at the Cats, up and coming ruckman Nathan Vardy has also impressed in the VFL, but Scott said it would be unlikely he would earn a senior call-up in 2012.
"We think that it's an absolute bonus that he's playing at all at the moment. We're certainly not putting a ceiling on it, we're not ruling him out," Scott said.
"But we won't be considering him this week certainly... he has some sort of chance, but far and away the most important thing with Vards is that he runs around at VFL level, and his body's good."
Vardy's fellow ruckman Orren Stephenson is in doubt to return to the side this week, after breaking his hand in their Round 20 loss to West Coast.Stephenson missed the Cats' win over St Kilda on Friday night and has had surgery on the problem area, but Scott said he 'hasn't been ruled out' for the date with the Dogs.