Gary Ablett headlines a list of four Geelong stars who could return for Sunday's high-stakes AFL match against Sydney, with coach Chris Scott urging his charges to embrace the added pressure on the club.
The Cats will secure a top-four spot and double chance in finals if they defeat the Swans at Metricon Stadium, while defeat will consign them to an elimination final.
Scott has confirmed that veterans Ablett and Joel Selwood, who haven't played since July 16 and August 14 respectively, remain on track to play.
Gary Rohan and Jack Steven, who have missed one and two games respectively, are also likely to be available.
Rhys Stanley remains sidelined because of a groin injury, but Scott expects the ruckman will be back for week one of the finals.
A clash with 15th-placed Sydney does not scream finals dress rehearsal, but Scott knows how damaging a loss could be in the context of his team's finals hopes.
"My preference is to embrace the moment, embrace the fact the stakes are high," Scott told reporters.
"We don't have any room to move if the aim, in the short term, is to finish top four."
Scott boasts a staggering 72 per cent winning record in regular-season matches, comfortably the best of any current coach, but that number slips to 39 in finals.
"To be frank we haven't delivered in the really big games, for a number of reasons," the 2011 premiership coach said.
"If one of those reasons if that some of our inexperienced players haven't been able to perform at their best under the pressure of the battle, the best way to remedy that is to embrace the pressure of the battle whenever it comes up.
"This is a good chance for us to acknowledge the stakes are high, the result is really important for us. Let's confront it and do the best we can."
Scott suggested that shortened quarters would help Ablett ease back into things, adding that "we want to be smart about it; we're not just going to throw him in and hope for the best".
"Our objective measures point to him being in better shape than he was last time he played with us," Scott said.
"Anyone, even someone of Gary's stature, would be a little wanting for match fitness, but we think he can pick that up pretty quickly."
Scott added Selwood has also proven throughout his 305-game career that "a period of not playing doesn't hurt him too much".
Australian Associated Press