Geelong coach Chris Scott has drawn a proverbial line in the sand about the injury management of battered Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield.
Dangerfield will be rested until after the bye in three weeks as he recovers from a calf injury, the latest in a string of ailments to trouble the Cats champion.
Scott says the decision may cost Geelong in the short term.
But the coach has reached the point where he wants Dangerfield at his best, not merely struggling through games due to injury.
"When I reflect over the last couple of years, we just haven't had him firing towards the end of the season," Scott told reporters on Wednesday.
"And so ... taking a bit of short-term pain to have him in the best shape possible at the end of the year, that may well cost us along the way.
"But in my opinion that is a better approach for us to take with him.
"Given there's two games before the bye we can use that extra (bye) week which is probably more than he needs in reality.
"We think that is going to have him in the best shape to have a really good run at the last couple of months of the season."
Dangerfield had convinced Geelong's coaches and medicos that he could play through some injuries since round one.
"A big portion of the issue right at the moment with Pat is that almost from the first round, he hasn't been able to train much," Scott said.
"He has just had a series of issues that have stopped him training without necessarily stopping him from playing.
"And we have just come to that point now where we're not going to take the risk that if we just keep muddling along, he is going to be less than his best."
Scott described Dangerfield "might be the most explosive player of his generation" but was currently lacking his renowned power.
"That lack of explosiveness that we're seeing is down to a series of really significant corks that probably should have kept him out for a couple of games where he convinced us he can get through," he said.
"So now we have put a line in the sand and said 'we're not going to accept that you can just get through, we want you to play when you can get back to your best'."
Australian Associated Press
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