AFL: Cats sweating on young gun Max Holmes’ scan results

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Geelong may not know until mid-week whether in-form midfielder Max Holmes will be part of the club’s bid to win a first premiership in 11 years.

Holmes underwent scans on his right hamstring on Saturday after being subbed out of the previous night’s dominant preliminary final win over Brisbane.

He emotionally pounded the MCG turf on the sidelines in the minutes after the setback, but Cats coach Chris Scott said post-game the club’s medical staff were “optimistic” he could play in the grand final.

Geelong football boss Simon Lloyd told News Corp that Holmes had experienced neural hamstring pain, or tension – rather than a strain or tear – in the past and played the next week.

The hope is it is again nerve-related but the Cats will wait for scan results before confirming that diagnosis.

“We saw him limp off the ground and I think we all thought the worst to begin with, then he went down with our medical team, who did a little bit of screening,” Lloyd said.

“Chris relayed post-game there was a bit more optimism from Max and the medical team, but we always give it 24 to 36 hours with these sorts of things, for our medical team to do their scans and speak to different consultants.

“They’ll come to us over the next day and let us know what it’s going to look like, but I’d envisage this will be one that we’ll see how Max recovers throughout the week.”

Holmes, 20, blossomed late in the season as an important player for Geelong but the Cats have quality players on standby if he is ruled out.

Mark O’Connor was the medical substitute on Friday night, while Brandan Parfitt and Sam Menegola were among the emergencies.

Geelong will also take precautions against illness ahead of the grand final, including arriving at a different time and being seated in a separate room to fellow guests at the Brownlow Medal on Sunday night.

Jeremy Cameron is rated the Cats’ best chance of winning this year’s medal and the player would accept the honour on stage in that scenario.

The Cats also limited family access in the rooms after beating the Lions and required working media to wear masks, but Lloyd said the strategy went beyond Covid concerns.

“You only need to go back 12 months and we had an outbreak of gastro (ahead of the preliminary final) and lost a lot of players, and there’s a fair bit going around,” he said.

“We saw that last week with a couple of opposition teams … so we’ve taken a lot of precautions in that space around how we’re operating and that’s through what we’ve learned previously.

“We’re just trying to make sure we give the club every opportunity to have our best team out there and performing at our optimum.”

Originally published as AFL 2022: Geelong waiting on Max Holmes’ hamstring scan results before determining his grand final fate


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