AFL

Cats captain Joel Selwood in doubt for round one

Newly re-signed Geelong captain Joel Selwood is no certainty to play in the round-one blockbuster against Hawthorn as he continues to battle the effects of the plantar fasciitis problem in his right foot.

The injury was revealed in December and Selwood, a top-10 pick for this year's Brownlow Medal, has not been able to complete much running during the pre-season and remains on a restricted program.

Geelong captain Joel Selwood.
Geelong captain Joel Selwood. Photo: Getty Images

Selwood finds himself in a similar situation to his younger brother, new recruit Scott Selwood, who is working his way back from ankle surgery in an effort to be fit for the start of the year.

The Cats skipper intends to be available for the Easter Monday season-opener on March 28, but qualified that aim by saying he would not rush into the season unless he was 100 per cent ready.

That being the case, Selwood said it was likely he would sit out the club's entire NAB Challenge campaign.   

"Obviously I've had the lay-off before Christmas and I'll start joining back in with the boys in the not-too-distant future, and just work away at it until round one and be ready for round one," Selwood said after the Cats' training session on Monday.

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"It hasn't been ideal. Frustrating? I've probably been lucky that the boys have been training the way that they have, that it hasn't been too frustrating," he said.

"I've got to look after myself a bit, make sure I'm doing the right things and looking after my body."

Selwood has overcome interrupted pre-seasons in the past, but admitted he had more running under his belt back then than he did now.

Selwood discovered the pain in his foot while running on an overseas trip and the four-time All-Australian admitted on Monday that the timeline for the injury had dragged on longer than expected.

"It started off being a bruised heel and then it went into plantar fasciitis so I've still got a bit of work to do," Selwood said.

"I've done very little running so far. That starts ramping up around now and I've still got 62 days until that round-one clash," he said.

While all the injury talk constituted the "bad" news, there was certainly plenty to be excited about on Monday as 3000 fans attended the open training session at Simonds Stadium.

The good news was the announcement that Selwood had effectively made himself a Cat for life after extending his contract by another two seasons, thus taking him through until 2019 at which point he will be 31.

"It was an easy decision. With my manager and [Cats football general manager] Steve Hocking, we sat down and worked out something nice and quick," Selwood said of the contract negotiations.

Unsurprisingly, Cats management said they were pleased with the outcome of the Selwood deal. "It seems almost certain now that Joel will spend his entire career with the Cats," Hocking said.

Scott Selwood, who was brought in from West Coast as part of the Cats' bold off-season recruiting raid, had surgery on his ankle in October, and although he joined in one of the competitive drills on Monday, the Eagles' 2012 best and fairest winner still has plenty of work to catch up.

Joel Selwood said his brother's "best footy is still ahead of him".

"But what he's got to do is get back into some good form," Joel added. "He's got to feel really confident in the ankle, which he's getting at, and he's got to keep working away."

Cory Gregson, Jordan Murdoch and Rhys Stanley are also on modified programs, while key forward Mitch Clark has trained with the main group for the majority of the pre-season but was on prescriptive light duties on Monday.

with AAP