Tim Kelly and Matt Crouch. Picture: David Mariuz/AAP
Tim Kelly and Matt Crouch. Picture: David Mariuz/AAP

High-flying Cats confident on Kelly ankle injury

GEELONG is confident star midfielder Tim Kelly has ­escaped serious injury to his ankle, despite him hobbling down the race in the final quarter of the Cats' 24-point win over Adelaide on Friday night.

The Cats are likely to make a decision on whether Kelly needs scans on his ankle today, but coach Chris Scott said the electric ball winner could have come back on if he was needed in the final term.

Geelong will also wait and see how rebounding defender Mark O'Connor recovers ­before its clash with GWS at GMHBA Stadium next Saturday. He limped off with a corked hip.

O'Connor was restricted when working with the club doctor at three-quarter time and took no further part in the game.

Scott said he was optimistic there would be positive news regarding Kelly's injury.

"It appeared as if he could have gone back on late and we chose not to," he said.

"I interpret that as a good sign. They (Geelong's medical team) will probably say that's a simplistic view."

Scott described O'Connor's injury as a "bad cork in a nasty spot".

Rory Atkins is tackled by Patrick Dangerfield and Tim Kelly. Picture: AAP
Rory Atkins is tackled by Patrick Dangerfield and Tim Kelly. Picture: AAP

"He was more than willing to push through the pain, but anyone who watched him at three-quarter time run around with the doctor … he just couldn't move and he certainly couldn't kick," Scott said said.

"We knew it was going to be high pressure in the last quarter, so you can't have a guy out there that can't function."

Geelong had to survive a third-term surge by the Crows.

The Cats led by 23 points at half-time, but the margin was whittled down to three points at the final change.

However, Geelong responded with Gary Rohan (two goals), Gryan Miers and Gary Ablett all hitting the scoreboard in the final term to help the Cats kick away.

"At three-quarter time there were a number of alibis for us there if we wanted to use them," Scott said.

"Five-day break, Mark O'Connor was done, we had another player or two who was a little bit sore, four goals up at half-time, three points at three-quarter time, big home crowd, the home team with all the momentum. We could have rolled over," Scott said.

"With a bit of inexperience in the side, too, that's always a possibility. It can just get a little bit too hard for those sort of guys.

"Across the board I thought we really stood up in the big moments, which is one of the things we needed to address.

"For a decent period, it's hard enough to get yourself into those moments, but when they arrive the good teams take them more often than not."

The Cats are 3-0 and have surged into premiership contention with wins over the Crows, Melbourne and ­Collingwood.

However, Scott said talk of the Cats being contenders was premature.

"I think there is a long way to go and I think there will be a lot of contenders and a lot of momentum shifts throughout the year," he said.

"It feels as if we have a bit of momentum building, but we feel there is a lot of improvement left as well.

"It's hard to work out where the teams are within the ­competition.

"The draw obviously has a bit of an impact. Some teams have harder draws on paper but it cannot work out that way. It can be a little bit of when you play teams rather than who you play.

"We are positive at the ­moment. We haven't done it for anywhere near long enough to start trying to rate where we sit in the comp."