Stars align for the Cats

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 12 Januari 2013 | 14.43

Jimmy Bartel is set to resume full training as he continues to make excellent progress from off-season surgery.l Picture: Michael Klein Source: Herald Sun

James Kelly has impressed the Geelong camp since surgery. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: Herald Sun

KEY Geelong stars Jimmy Bartel, James Kelly and Josh Caddy are set to resume full training after making encouraging progress from off-season surgery.

Assistant coach James Rahilly said yesterday the trio had recovered strongly after injury-enforced layoffs.

The injury news came as a near-full Geelong list battled it out with North Melbourne in a scratch match behind closed doors at Simonds Stadium yesterday.

Former Roo Hamish McIntosh was one of few to miss the interclub match arranged by the clubs' coaches, brothers Chris and Brad Scott.

McIntosh is recovering from knee surgery.

Bartel (foot), Kelly (hip) and Caddy (shoulder) were restricted to laps and light drills in a half-hour warm-up at the nearby St Mary's Oval, but all played in a short, sharp match at Simonds Stadium against a North Melbourne side that featured star forward Drew Petrie.

Rahilly said he was pleased with the trio's progress.

"Jimmy's travelling pretty well. He's starting to train and do a few sessions," Rahilly said.

"I'm not sure when he'll be doing a full session, but it won't be too far away.

"James Kelly is pretty much up to full training as well, so they're going along very well."

Gold Coast recruit Caddy has handled full-contact sessions and is close to joining the main group, while McIntosh remains on a restricted training program.

"I can't see him being too far away," Rahilly said. "He's a little bit slower than the others, but he'll be back in full training soon as well.

"He's still doing a lot, but when he joins the match-simulation drills will be up to the docs and physio. He's on the track completing drills and doing some one-on-one stuff, so I wouldn't think he'd be too far away at all."

Rahilly said the scratch match with the Roos was low-key.

"We only did a couple of drills with them. It only went for 15-20 minutes max and then we completed our training," Rahilly said.

"The main reason (for the scratch match) is they don't have a ground and wanted to come down to use our ground.

"It's something we've done to help out other sides and have a bit of combative training. It was nothing too silly.

"There was no real tackling to ground or ridiculous spoiling. We had a match-simulation drill, but it wasn't very long.

"We worked the ball down one end, our defenders had a go, their defenders had a go, and then the forwards.

"It was a test for where we're at and where they're at, but the bulk of our session was done on our own."

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