'Highly unprofessional': AFL coach fumes over popular doc's take

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Geelong coach Chris Scott has taken aim at AFL media figure Dr Peter Larkins' suggestions Cats defender Tom Stewart won't be fit to play finals. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Geelong coach Chris Scott has taken aim at AFL media figure Dr Peter Larkins' suggestions Cats defender Tom Stewart won't be fit to play finals. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Geelong coach Chris Scott has launched an extraordinary tirade against popular AFL media figure, Dr Peter Larkins, after he criticised the club's handling of a key player's injury.

There has been heavy speculation about the potential availability of All-Australian defender Tom Stewart if the Cats make it to the grand final, after the 28-year-old underwent surgery last month.

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Stewart went under the knife to repair a lisfranc ligament injury, having been sidelined with the problem since round 21.

Larkins, a well known sports medico who has covered the league for Channel 9 in years past, said on SEN Radio his opinion was that it was 'unrealistic' for Stewart to play again this year and the Cats were 'delusional' for thinking there was a chance he would recover in time.

The tweets did not escape the attention of Cats coach Scott, who accused Larkins of being 'unprofessional' in discussing the matter.

"We're confident that we have the very best people in Australia, certainly, but maybe even the world, that are across this," Scott said.

"So someone in the medical profession who hasn't had the opportunity to look at the situation in detail throwing haymakers like that from the cheap seats, I think, is highly unprofessional.

"But maybe he (Larkins) doesn't consider his role in the game now to be one of a medical professional first.

"Maybe he's an entertainer, so I take it in the context of that."

Scott went on to staunchly defend the Geelong medical team's ability to give Stewart the best possible treatment.

Geelong coach Chris Scott rages over Dr Peter Larkins' tweet

Stewart has not played since round 21 and would have a limited preparation if he was cleared for the grand final.

But the defender would have the benefit of an extra week, with the grand final combatants to have a bye between their preliminary finals and the season decider this year.

"Tom is on a program that was laid out by the very best medical experts and anyone that questions that, especially when they're a level below that expertise, doesn't really know what they're talking about," Scott said.

"He's following a plan that was laid out right from the start and he just keeps ticking off those days, so that's the process we're going to work through.

Geelong remain optimistic that All-Australian defender Tom Stewart will recover from surgery in time to potentially play in the AFL grand final, should the Cats make it. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Geelong remain optimistic that All-Australian defender Tom Stewart will recover from surgery in time to potentially play in the AFL grand final, should the Cats make it. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"If he makes it, he makes and if he doesn't, he doesn't.

"There's not going to be much room for grey there - it's going to be a really binary decision."

Geelong will have to replace Brandan Parfitt for the clash against the Demons at Optus Stadium after he suffered a serious hamstring injury during last week's win over GWS.

Mitch Duncan is a chance to play more midfield minutes after a strong return form a knee injury against the Giants, while Scott said ruck-forward Esava Ratugolea is "likely" to retain his spot in attack.

With AAP

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