Geelong superstar Gary Ablett returning to an AFL field in 2020 is of no concern for Cats coach Chris Scott.
Ablett hasn't played for the in-form Cats since leaving their West Australian bubble in July to be with his wife Jordan and son Levi, who is battling a rare degenerative condition.
The dual Brownlow Medallist was understood to considering linking up with his teammates on the Gold Coast, possibly as soon as next week, but has suffered another personal setback with his mother-in-law Trudy Papalia dying after a battle with lung cancer.
The Cats wore black armbands in Papalia's memory during Friday's 60-point win over Port Adelaide at Metricon Stadium and Scott said there would be no expectation on Ablett, just support.
"I am going to keep my message to the Abletts private, that's the way I would like it to be handled so I am going to give the respect to the Abletts that they deserve," Scott said after the Power match.
"What I will say publicly is that we love them and will support them as much as possible, if that meant that he wasn't going to play football this year then so be it.
"Gary's had several concerns that he has been working through over the last year or so, it would be great to have him back if we could get him back but, as I said, if he needed to stay, then we're right behind him as well."
The Cats now have a nine-day break until their next match against winless Adelaide.
The arrival of several players' families to Queensland on Thursday couldn't have come at a better time for the squad, who will use the next few days to recharge themselves before the final third of the season.
"Now we move into a new phase where we've got more of the families there and I mean, I for one, my wife and daughter aren't here but I'll be living vicariously through the other kids," Scott said.
"In a way, we'd like to keep the momentum going. See if we can punch out another five or six games in the next few weeks but there's no doubt we planned for this period and we've got some players that will relish the break.
"But the challenge, as it is for every team, is to maintain the rage."