Geelong coach Chris Scott has taken aim at veteran sports medico Peter Larkins over a tweet the doctor made surrounding the Cats’ handling of defender Tom Stewart.
Three-time All-Australian Stewart has not yet been ruled out for the season despite a Lisfranc injury in his foot, with Geelong leaving the door ajar for Stewart to play in the grand final on September 25 should the Cats qualify for the decider by beating Melbourne in a preliminary final on Friday night at Optus Stadium.
Cats coach Chris Scott has lashed out at commentary about Tom Stewart’s return from injury.Credit:Getty Images
Larkins last week said it would be “delusional” to think Stewart could play again this season having had surgery less than a month ago.
Scott fiercely defended his club’s medical staff on Wednesday.
“Tom is on a program that was laid out by the very best medical experts and anyone who questions that, especially when they’re a level below that expertise, doesn’t really know what they’re talking about,” Scott said.
“He’s following a plan that was laid out right from the start and he just keeps ticking off those days. If he makes it, he makes it; if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. There’s not going to be much room for grey there.
“We’re confident we have the very best people in Australia certainly, maybe even the world who are across this.
“Someone in the medical profession who hasn’t had the opportunity to look at the situation in detail, throwing haymakers like that from the cheap seats I think is highly unprofessional.
“But maybe he [Larkins] doesn’t consider his role in the game now to be one of a medical profession first, maybe he’s an entertainer.”
Stewart has resumed running in recent days.
With Brandan Parfitt ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious hamstring injury, the Cats will need to make at least one forced change.
Scott said Geelong had already decided on who would replace Parfitt but said the club would not reveal the decision until teams are released on Thursday night.
The 2011 premiership coach said the Cats entered Friday night’s game in “pretty good” form.
“Not perfect, our last month of the home-and-away season wasn’t quite as good as we would have liked but within games there were really good patches there. That was the challenge for us. It wasn’t as though we hadn’t seen our best footy, we just hadn’t seen it throughout games.
“I think we’re just going to have to play close to our best. I don’t agree with the notion at all that we need to knock it out of the park to win.”
Scott said the Cats’ significant finals experience relative to that of the Dees would be a positive.
“I’d prefer to have a bit more experience than less. I think it helps a tiny little bit at the margin. That won’t be the primary reason we play well or not.”
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