Cats might delay Ottens, Hawkins returns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats might delay Ottens, Hawkins returns

By Adam Cooper 04/07/2010 06:21:51 PM Comments (0)

In an ominous sign of the depth Geelong have at their disposal, the AFL returns of big men Brad Ottens and Tom Hawkins might be delayed until teammates have more football under their belts.

The Cats had midfielders Joel Corey, Paul Chapman and James Kelly all make encouraging returns in Sunday's win over North Melbourne at Skilled Stadium, and should have Ottens and Hawkins available this week.

Captain Cameron Ling, who withdrew before Sunday's game because of tightness in his back, should also be available.

But coach Mark Thompson said Ottens and Hawkins, who are both close to overcoming bouts of foot soreness, might not be considered automatic inclusions for Saturday's game against Hawthorn.

"They're both a real good chance to play," he said after Geelong's 14.14 (98) to 9.9 (63) win.

"Whether we play them or not, we've just got Joel Corey back and Scarlo (Matthew Scarlett) hasn't played much footy.

"If we throw in Ottens and Hawk, who has missed a month, I'm not sure whether that's the smartest thing to do."

The pending returns of Ottens and Hawkins will offset the recent suspensions of forwards Steve Johnson and Cameron Mooney, although Thompson was pleased with the way his forward line functioned against North.

The Kangaroos could also be bolstered through the return of a key player, as big forward Drew Petrie is close to resuming full training.

Petrie has also been troubled by a foot problem this season, which has limited him to one game - the round-10 defeat to Fremantle.

But after Sunday's game he was put through a running session by fitness staff, and North coach Brad Scott said he was a chance to play Sydney next Sunday.

"He's a good chance," Scott said.

"I look at when he'll be available to join full training and we're hoping that will be this week.

"Once he's available to join at full training and he trains well, then we'll make a call on when he plays.

"But his return is imminent."

But North suffered a blow as young midfielder Jack Ziebell broke his leg in the first quarter when he knocked his leg against Travis Varcoe as the pair ran for the ball.

Ziebell suffered a broken leg last year, but Scott said the 19-year-old had avoided breaking the same bone (fibula) as last time.

"It looks like he's got a small fracture in his tibia ... it's certainly not displaced, it won't require surgery," he said.

"So it's nothing that won't heal on its own."

North estimate Ziebell could be sidelined for six weeks.

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