Podsiadly could be ready to step into Cats’ line in a tall order for Giants

James Podsiadly’s likely return from a knee injury could finally put Geelong in the selection dilemma it has always wanted – how many in-form big men can you play in one team?

Nathan Vardy’s impressive return against Gold Coast on Saturday night was a sign the injury-plagued forward-ruck might be ready to make a regular impact at senior level – for which the Cats and their supporters have been waiting two years.

But his inclusion now means Geelong has two key backs – Harry Taylor (193 centimetres) and Tom Lonergan (197 centimetres), a key forward in Tom Hawkins (197 centimetres) and three ruckmen – Trent West (199 centimetres), Mark Blicavs (198 centimetres) and Vardy (198 centimetres) – with Vardy the most capable of playing as the other key forward.

And then there is Podsiadly (193 centimetres), who has shown the potential to play as a swingman key defender as well as his customary support for Hawkins inside the forward 50.

There is every chance Podsiadly could slot seamlessly in alongside the other six key-position players, given Geelong played Mitch Brown (196 centimetres) last week, and the mixture of talls allows coach Chris Scott to send the highly impactful Taylor forward.

Nevertheless, the issue of ”how big is too big” has been a topic of debate this week.

There has been no indication that one of West, Blicavs, Vardy, Hawkins, Lonergan or Taylor will be forced out through injury. However, the Cats have a penchant for managing key players through the season, and may take advantage of the bye after Saturday’s interstate game against Greater Western Sydney to give one of the big men two weeks off.

It is a path the club will take with small forward Steven Motlop, who will have this week and the bye to get a minor knee complaint right.

However, Scott said Podsiadly, who missed a week with his knee issue, was expected to play against the Giants. ”Certainly if he’s in full health, then we will be very pleased to get him back,” he said.

And the Cats’ stockpile of talls will only grow heading into September, with recruits Hamish McIntosh and Jared Rivers both set to resume in the VFL after the bye following knee injuries.

The bad news on Tuesday was there is no set return date for Paul Chapman after a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. Scott said he could be out for ”quite a while”.

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