The future of AFL veteran Gary Ablett is under a cloud after he left Geelong's quarantine hub to be with family in Victoria.
Ablett was part of the Cats group based in their Perth quarantine hub, but has left teammates to return home to his wife Jordan and son Levi, who is battling a rare degenerative condition.
Ablett played in Thursday's 22-point loss to Collingwood but flew back to Melbourne on Saturday.
Geelong made it clear that they would allow Ablett to leave the Perth hub at any point if he felt the need to return.
And with the COVID-19 situation in Melbourne worsening dramatically, Ablett made the decision to return to his family.
It means Ablett will miss the upcoming games against Fremantle and West Coast in Perth.
There's a chance he can rejoin his teammates when they go to Queensland early next month, but Ablett would need to serve a 14-day quarantine period first.
The Geelong champion had already indicated that he would leave the Cats' hub if and when his family needed him in Victoria.
Geelong and coach Chris Scott gave Ablett their blessing to leave due to his challenging family situation and his manager confirmed his departure on Saturday.
"I haven't spoken with him yet but I know he boarded a plane this morning and will obviously miss the next two games," Liam Pickering said.
The move comes after Ablett revealed his family's private struggles, where he explained his son Levi's condition in a heartbreaking Instagram post.
“In the recent months, my wife and I have privately fought and continue to fight some pretty tough battles,” Ablett wrote.
“Some of you might already know that Jordan is caring for her mum as she battles with cancer.
“But what many of you don't know is that our son has been recently diagnosed with a rare and degenerative disease.
“After a great amount of thought and consideration, we decided that it's time to share this with you.”
Ablett was part of the Cats group that flew to Sydney, before heading on to Western Australia.
Geelong had left the door open for the veteran too return to his family at any point, given his challenging family circumstances.
Ablett returns home to be with wife and son
However, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season and the uncertainty surrounding his return, questions are being asked about Ablett's future in the game.
He has already indicated that this year will be his last in the AFL.
Ablett's decision to return to his wife Jordan and son Levi comes as little surprise after his heartfelt message earlier in the month.
“We thank you for your love and support and want to emphasise just how grateful we are to be Levi's parents.
“He is a true blessing to us and our family and we love him so deeply.
“Anyone who knows him knows how full of joy he is and how he always has a smile on his face.
“I would also like to thank the Geelong Football Club for the way you have cared for our family throughout this time, always ensuring that we feel loved and fully supported.
“The biggest thank you needs to go to my wife, Jordan. Without you I wouldn't have made it to 350 games.”