Gary Ablett feels the pain of another hamstring injury. Pic: Will RussellAFL Media
Gary Ablett feels the pain of another hamstring injury. Pic: Will RussellAFL Media

Ablett injury looks worse this time: Scott

GEELONG coach Chris Scott is counting the cost after star midfielder Gary Ablett was among three key players injured in the dramatic 15-point AFL loss to West Coast in Perth.

The Cats trailed by 32 points at half-time at Optus Stadium on Sunday but booted six goals to nil in the third quarter to turn the contest on its head. Cats duo Cameron Guthrie (ankle) and Nakia Cockatoo (knee) had already gone off injured by that stage.

And when Ablett pinged his right hamstring while running for the ball early in the last quarter, Geelong were down to one fit man on the bench.

The Cats led by seven points at that stage and extended that to 15 at the 16-minute mark of the final term.

But West Coast went on a goal spree, booting six goals in a 10-minute stretch to snatch the 14.11 (95) to 11.14 (80) win in front of 54,535 fans. It left Geelong with a 1-2.

The damage to Guthrie's ankle remains unclear but Scott confirmed Cockatoo has a PCL injury.

Ablett's hamstring injury looms as the biggest concern, given his importance to the side.

The two-time Brownlow medallist also battled a hamstring injury during the pre- season and at 33 years of age might take extra time to recover.

"The injury he had during the pre-season was a two-week hamstring. It was really minor," Scott said.

Cam Guthrie suffered an ankle injury, while Ablett looks set to miss at least three weeks. Pic: Will Russell/AFL Media
Cam Guthrie suffered an ankle injury, while Ablett looks set to miss at least three weeks. Pic: Will Russell/AFL Media

"This one looked a bit more significant to my inexperienced eye from 120 metres away.

"He's had two (recent hamstring injuries) ... so it's always a concern."

West Coast will be sweating on the fitness of goalsneak Liam Ryan, who injured his right leg while soccering through his third goal late in the fourth quarter.

"I need to talk to him about doing a lap of honour after a win with an ankle like that," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.

"I think it is just a strained ankle. I don't think it is anything hugely severe. We'll have to wait and see."

Geelong were lucky to be only 16 points down at quarter-time after losing the inside-50m count 24-10.

Geelong's Tom Hawkins high-fives Patrick Dangerfield as the pair helped the Cats fight back. Pic: AAP
Geelong's Tom Hawkins high-fives Patrick Dangerfield as the pair helped the Cats fight back. Pic: AAP

Alarm bells were ringing when they entered half-time with a 32-point deficit. But Patrick Dangerfield (33 disposals) and Tom Hawkins (three goals) inspired a remarkable fightback in the third term.

Lachie Fogarty missed three crucial shots on goal in the final quarter, with West Coast making Geelong pay.

"We were clearly in trouble at halftime," Scott said.

"And with a pretty inexperienced group and a few wounded, we needed to change some things up and find a way to get back into the game."



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