Cats lose Ottens for eight matches - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats lose Ottens for eight matches

04/05/2010 07:16:25 PM Comments (0)

Another serious injury to Brad Ottens means Geelong are about to learn where their ruck stocks stand over the middle of the AFL season.

Ottens will be out for up to two months because of a stress fracture in his foot, which flared following Sunday's thrashing of Richmond at Skilled Stadium.

Ottens, 30, missed large chunks of the previous two seasons, as a knee injury restricted him to six games last year although he played in the grand-final win over St Kilda, while a foot injury kept him out of the first nine rounds of 2008.

The All-Australian's absence means the pressure is on Geelong to again unearth a young ruckman, after Shane Mumford emerged last year when Mark Blake became the Cats' first-choice in the role.

But Mumford requested a trade when he realised Ottens' return would deny him senior games, and found himself at Sydney, where he is now playing well.

As fate would have it, an ankle injury to Sydney's Mark Seaby means former teammates Blake and Mumford will go head to head in Sunday's anticipated game between the reigning premiers and the ladder-leading Swans.

"(Seaby) is certainly a loss for them, but unfortunately Brad Ottens is injured too so he won't play and will likely miss six or eight weeks of football," Geelong coach Mark Thompson said on Tuesday.

"There's a bit of a stress reaction in his foot so we're going to miss Brad and they're going to miss Seaby.

"So Blake against Mumford - there you go, should be a great contest."

Young ruckman Dawson Simpson played when Ottens missed round three, and the Cats can also call on seven-gamer Trent West or forwards Cameron Mooney and Tom Hawkins as pinch hitters.

But Thompson was keen for Ottens to return as quickly.

"We probably need more than three or four games from Brad each year before he plays finals," he said.

"We're devastated that he's injured and hope he gets back as soon as he can."

Midfielder Joel Corey and half-forward Max Rooke will again miss a game because of knee injuries, but the Cats should regain Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett and fullback Matthew Scarlett, who has overcome a back problem.

Ablett missed the win over Richmond through hamstring tightness, and Thompson said his star midfielder was "probably not" watching the game at Skilled Stadium.

Even worse than that, according to the coach, was Ablett's decision to attend a party after the Logies that night.

Ablett had to explain himself to the rest of the Cats' leadership group on Tuesday.

"He went out for dinner and went out to one of the after-parties at the Logies, but he guaranteed he was only there for an hour and wasn't drinking alcohol, so it's not a big problem for us," Thompson said.

"You're allowed to go out, but he probably chose the wrong place to go out to."

Thompson has made several public jibes at Ablett this year but on Tuesday denied he was losing patience with his superstar, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Ablett is the No.1 recruiting target for the Gold Coast, but Geelong are hopeful of re-signing him.

"For what he does and what he has to put up with, he does an extremely good job," Thompson said.

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