AAP AFL

Selwood back for Cats, Brown in for Roos

By AAP Newswire

Geelong captain Joel Selwood will return from a hamstring injury in Wednesday night's AFL clash with North Melbourne at the Gabba.

Selwood missed the Cats' past two games after suffering the injury in their round-eight loss to Collingwood but is one of five inclusions to take on the Kangaroos.

Rhys Stanley is back from a five-match absence due to a knee injury to bolster Geelong's ruck department, after West Coast big man Nic Naitanui's tap work propelled the Eagles to defeat the Cats last Saturday.

Former St Kilda star Jack Steven, Tom Atkins and Zach Guthrie also return with Brandan Parfitt, Esava Ratugolea, Gary Rohan and Jake Kolodjashnij rested by Geelong coach Chris Scott.

Charlie Constable (concussion) is the Cats' only forced change.

But North have key inclusions of their own, recalling key forward Ben Brown and utility Jared Polec after the pair were dropped for the Roos' last-start win against Adelaide.

Brown kicked 64 goals last season, almost winning his first Coleman Medal, but has been badly out-of-form in 2020.

Polec's omission against the Crows was even more surprising considering he was the leading possession winner on the ground in his most previous game.

North coach Rhyce Shaw has also picked debutant Lachlan Hosie, while Kyron Hayden, Luke Davies-Uniacke have been managed.

Meanwhile, Scott did not have an update on when Cats veteran Gary Ablett, who returned to Geelong for family reasons more than two weeks ago, would re-join his teammates in their hub.

"My priority, at least, is making sure that we stay out of his way so he can prioritise the most important things in his life at the moment and clearly that's not football," Scott said.

"I've had some private communication with him ... when we know, I'm pretty happy that we'll let you know as soon as possible but at the moment it's unknown.

"... (There's) nothing negative to report, I think what we said initially was that he needed to prioritise his private life but was still optimistic that he would play footy towards the end of the season and I haven't seen or heard anything that changes that."

Scott was uncertain how Victoria's new COVID-19 restrictions would affect Ablett's training but said the 36-year-old had been keeping fit.