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Cam Guthrie at centre of worrying scenes as return to AFL thrown into doubt

The Cats star went down with a quad injury in the first 10 seconds of their pre-season match with Carlton.

Pictured Cam Guthrie
Geelong premiership winner Cam Guthrie has suffered an injury scare in a pre-season hitout with Carlton on Thursday. Image: Getty

Geelong premiership winner Cam Guthrie suffered a freak injury in the first few seconds of a pre-season hitout against Carlton at Ikon Park on Thursday. The Cats star won possession from the opening centre bounce but after kicking the ball collapsed to the ground.

The 31-year-old was seen limping off the field, assisted by trainers in what is a horror start to Geelong’s pre-season campaign. It is an equally heartbreaking blow for Guthrie on his return to the team after a 2023 AFL season decimated by injury.

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Following the match Geelong confirmed the veteran midfielder had suffered a quad injury but stressed the move to keep him out of the rest of the match was just precautionary. Guthrie's return to the team was seen as a massive boost for the Geelong midfield after the 2020 All-Australian and dual best and fairest winner managed only six games last year as a result of a complex foot injury.

The 31-year-old underwent surgery on his toe last year before making his VFL return late in the season but didn't manage to break back into the senior team despite the Cats' struggles, losing four of their final five games. Before his toe and quad injury, Guthrie had suffered very few injuries in his illustrious 236-game career.

Cam Guthrie turns to ballet to aid his recovery

The Cats midfielder turned to ballet in the off-season in a bid to avoid injuries and to help him recapture the form that saw him earn the club's best and fairest award in 2022. "I was hopeful I’d be able to come back and contribute in the back half of the year but I didn’t get that chance after going in for surgery," Guthrie previously told 7News.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Cameron Guthrie of the Cats warms up prior to the round 03 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Geelong Cats at Heritage Bank Stadium, on April 02, 2023, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/Getty Images)
Geelong confirmed Cam Guthrie suffered a quad injury in their pre-season clash. Image: Getty (Matt Roberts/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"It was an injury that kept getting away from me, sometimes they are the most frustrating. She (Susan) had some great little foot intrinsic exercises that got me back into shape. A little bit tedious at times, but she did some great work with me and I really appreciate it."

Guthrie hoped the addition of ballet to his training regimen would assist him in getting back to his best. "I worked hard over the off-season to put myself in a position where I can hopefully get back and contribute a little bit more in 2024," he said.

Chris Scott believes Geelong can win the flag in 2024

Geelong coach Chris Scott believes the club can improve on their 2022 premiership-winning performance in 2024, declaring the club has as good a chance as any to win the flag. "I feel that if things go well for us we are going to be as good a chance as anyone," Scott said.

"And you can frame that different ways. Looking at it through the optimistic lens, I think we can improve on what our best footy has looked like in the past two years. Last year we were inconsistent for reasons we think were pretty obvious."

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