Geelong coach Chris Scott says they hope to have Patrick Dangerfield fully fit and firing for the finals months of the season after taking the decision to give him a few weeks rest from playing.
The Cats are priced at 12/1 to win the 2022 AFL grand final and Scott wants to have Dangerfield at his peak in the latter part of the season.
That is why the decision has been taken to leave him out of the side while he overcomes a calf niggle that is hampering him.
Dangerfield has been suffering with a number of niggles and the rest should do him good. Scott accepts Geelong may have to take a hit in the short-term but it could end up benefiting them in the long-term.
Scott believes they have not had the star mid at his best in the business end of recent seasons, and wants to put that right this year.
"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.
"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."