Cats optimistic Holmes will play AFL GF

·2-min read

Geelong are optimistic young gun Max Holmes' hamstring injury won't rule him out of the AFL grand final, potentially avoiding a finals heartbreak story.

Holmes pulled up sore in his right hamstring after a kick in the third quarter of Friday night's preliminary final win over Brisbane at the MCG.

With the Cats leading by 45 and grand final bound, Holmes hobbled off, lay down on the sidelines and slammed his head into the ground several times, appearing distraught at the prospect of missing the decider.

Holmes was taken down to Geelong's rooms and substituted out for Mark O'Connor.

The Cats prevailed 18.12 (120) to 7.7 (49) while coach Chris Scott had good news on Holmes from the Cats' medical staff.

"They're optimistic about it," Scott told reporters.

"It's not like an injury that's going to absolutely rule him out. They haven't given me the detail yet except that they're optimistic that he'll play.

"So it didn't look like that to me.

"So that made a good night better."

Scott confirmed he went into the rooms to check in on Holmes during the game.

"I went down there thinking the worst and I bounced out of the rooms as well at three-quarter time," he said.

"So it's not a sure thing but my understanding is when the guys I'm talking about, and the quality of our medical staff, when they say they're optimistic, then it gets me up on my toes."

Scott said Holmes, who has played 18 games this season, had been "outstanding" in 2022.

He has become a key linkman despite a syndesmosis injury that saw him out of the AFL team between rounds eight and 14.

Brisbane dynamo Cameron Rayner was substituted out in the third quarter with an ankle injury.

Rayner copped a knock as he was attempting to take a mark, with the Lions trailing Geelong 55-19 and landed awkwardly on his right ankle.

The 22-year-old was immediately in pain and required assistance off the ground.

The Lions' medical staff taped up Rayner and he completed run-throughs and testing on the sidelines before returning to the field.

But he only lasted a few minutes before he returned to the bench and was substituted out for Rhys Mathieson.

Coach Chris Fagan believed Rayner had only rolled his ankle but the forward will have scans.