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Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield is hopeful a conservative approach to managing his latest soft tissue setback will allow him to fire for the Cats during the AFL finals series.
Dangerfield was a late withdrawal from the team to face St Kilda on Saturday night after feeling tightness in his right calf during the warm-up.
The 32-year-old was put through a fitness test and pulled out just minutes before the opening bounce at GMHBA Stadium.
"It is still a bit tight," Dangerfield told the Seven Network.
"Given the last time I re-aggravated my calf, to be honest, I didn't trust myself to make that right decision so close to game time.
"This time of the year, I suppose, given the situation that we are in, the conservative route is the best path forward."
The tightness is in the same spot where Dangerfield had more serious issues earlier in the season, which led to two separate stints on the sidelines.
The Brownlow medallist has now played just 13 of Geelong's 20 games this season.
"It had been tight during the week even though I trained fully. I was confident in that regard," Dangerfield said.
"In the back of your mind is that decision-making around how long I was out for last time and just making the mature decision around where we are at and where the season's at."
Geelong are among the leading contenders for this year's premiership but need big guns like Dangerfield firing in September.
The former Adelaide superstar is yet to play in a premiership, having been part of five losing preliminary finals and the Cats' 2020 grand final defeat to Richmond.
Geelong take on Gold Coast (away) and West Coast (home) in the final two rounds of the regular season.