Cats set for season-defining AFL stretch

Michael Ramsey
Scott Selwood will return on Thursday after having been sidelined for two months with an injury

Geelong are set to welcome back gritty midfielder Scott Selwood as they prepare for a stretch of games that could make or break their AFL finals chances.

Coach Chris Scott has confirmed Selwood will return for Thursday night's clash with Sydney at the SCG, having been sidelined for two months with a back injury.

Forward Daniel Menzel (groin) is another week away while the Cats are yet to put a timeframe on the return of defender Lachie Henderson (knee).

The hard-nosed Selwood should bolster a midfield that was beaten for contested possessions during last week's upset loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Consecutive defeats to the Bulldogs and Richmond have left the Cats hanging on to their spot in the top eight by percentage only with a tough month ahead.

The Cats will travel from Sydney to Adelaide to face the Crows next Thursday night before hosting Melbourne at Kardinia Park.

A winnable match against Brisbane is then followed by a rematch with the Tigers at the MCG, where the reigning premiers have won 16 straight games.

Geelong's back-to-back Thursday night games are broken up by a Sunday VFL game which limits their selection options.

"It's not ideal ... it's just been a bit of a perfect storm in that we've had a lot of well-credentialed players due to come back through this period," Scott said on Tuesday.

"It would have been difficult enough as it was but when you combine it with the fact that we've got some returning players, it's been a little bit more difficult.

"If we can put in a polite request to the VFL and AFL fixturers to ensure that it doesn't happen again, hopefully that helps."

Mark Blicavs was in a moon boot over the weekend but Scott said the athletic defender merely had a sore toe and should be fine to face the Swans.

Blicavs is likely to be tasked with matching up on Lance Franklin depending on how much time the Sydney superstar spends deep forward.

"Franklin's clearly one of the best, if not the best, key forwards in the game so it would be a great challenge for Mark if he does get it," Scott said.

"Two pretty good athletes going at it, and I think Mark's certainly the type of person and player that would relish the challenge."