Ablett to miss Cats homecoming - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ablett to miss Cats homecoming

By Guy Hand 03/08/2011 04:34:04 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast's trip to Geelong could turn from a welcome home party into a massacre after AFL superstar Gary Ablett was ruled out through injury.

Ablett's much anticipated return to his old club was put on hold on Wednesday - Gold Coast ruling out their skipper because of a hamstring injury.

And without their best player, the Suns could become further cannon fodder for a Geelong side which battered Melbourne by 186 points last weekend and seriously tested the AFL record score.

Saturday's venue Skilled Stadium has become AFL's most impenetrable fortress - the Cats winning their past 28 matches there.

While Geelong had been pushed by the Suns on the Gold Coast when they last met in May before falling away to lose by 66 points, no Ablett makes their task mission impossible.

Ablett said he had tweaked his hamstring a fortnight ago against Collingwood, but played last week against St Kilda.

"It was a hamstring injury I hurt against Collingwood and it felt good leading into the St Kilda game but unfortunately I've done a bit more damage," Ablett said on Twitter.

Suns coach Guy McKenna said he expected Ablett would miss just one match and return for the local derby against Brisbane the following week.

But he said Ablett would fly south with teammates for the match, and receive further treatment on the injury in Victoria.

"He jagged his hamstring in the last part of the game (against St Kilda last week) and did well to get through," McKenna said from the Gold Coast.

"There's been a bit of bleeding into his hamstring ... if there's any doubt, let's rule them out.

"I'd prefer him to miss a week than a month at this stage of the year."

The major interest would have been how Ablett, who won two premierships and a Brownlow Medal with the Cats, was received at Skilled Stadium and whether there was any fan backlash over his big-money defection to the Gold Coast.

A newspaper poll this week (EDS: Geelong Advertiser) showed most Geelong fans would have warmly welcomed back Ablett.

McKenna rubbished suggestions he was resting Ablett to spare him any negative reaction upon returning to Geelong.

"It's not Gary's call, it's a conditioning and coaching call here," McKenna said.

"I'm not doing it to protect him mentally, I'm doing it to protect him physically.

"We've scanned it (the hamstring), there's an issue there, so let's modify his load and give him the week off.

"He's disappointed of course. He would have loved to have got down there and faced his old mob."

Ablett apologised to Cats fans via Twitter for not being able to play.

McKenna said Suns defender Karmichael Hunt was also in doubt for the match after suffering a bad bout of `flu this week.

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