Kelly making speedy AFL recovery

Geelong veteran James Kelly could return for Friday night’s AFL match against Carlton, only a fortnight after needing surgery for a ruptured testicle.

Adding to the Blues’ woes, Geelong will most likely regain key forward Tom Hawkins and possibly defender Andrew Mackie as well.

Kelly suffered his grisly injury in the May 2 win over Richmond.

Coach Chris Scott said on Tuesday that Kelly could have been out of action for more than a month.

“He’s a chance – the likelihood is we’ll put him in the squad subject to our final session,” Scott said.

“It was always going to be one that was hard to predict … that’s a pleasant surprise, we need a few of them.”

Hawkins was a late withdrawal from Saturday night’s loss to Sydney with a gluteal problem and Scott expects him back quickly.

It is the latest in a succession of injuries this season to their key forwards, frustrating Geelong’s attempts to work out the best combination in attack.

“It’s just been changing week-to-week, which makes it hard to get some consistency in the way you want to play,” he said.

“So the priority is to settle those guys down and get them playing some footy together before we work out exactly which way is the best way to go.”

Mackie is coming back from a quad injury and was a late withdrawal from last weekend’s VFL team.

“We decided to be conservative with him, which makes him more conservative to play senior footy this weekend,” Scott said.

“But we haven’t worked through that in detail yet.”

But for all the good injury news, Geelong learned on Monday they will be without in-form midfielder Mitch Duncan for three months because of a foot fracture.

Scott said it was a blow “on a number of levels.

“He’s establishing himself as one of the really good players of the competition,” Scott said.

While Geelong will start strong favourites against the woeful Blues, Scott said the Cats must not be complacent.

Asked what they will expect from Carlton, Scott said: “their best – that’s the way we have to approach it.

“We’d be expecting them to come out and do everything they’re trying to do and well as they possibly can.”

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