Dangerfield rests as AFLX looms for Cats

Geelong look unlikely to play Patrick Dangerfield in the new AFLX tournament, with the star midfielder largely rested from Thursday's match simulation.

While Gary Ablett impressed during the lengthy three and a half hour session, Dangerfield spent time with their rehab group.

The Cats will play their AFLX games in the opening six-team competition next Thursday at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium.

Coach Chris Scott returned from overseas on Thursday and it is understood no final decision has been made on which Geelong stars will play in the shortened format.

But given Dangerfield's importance and his limited training at Thursday's session, the Cats are certain to take no risks with the 2016 Brownlow Medallist.

Dangerfield did some contact work towards the end of Thursday's session, but otherwise was on light duties.

Ablett impressed in the match simulation, further exciting Cats fans.

The two-time Brownlow Medallist will be one of the stories of the season after his return from seven years at Gold Coast.

Injury means Ablett has not played more than 15 games in a season since 2013, but he looked sharp on Thursday and worked well through the midfield with Cats captain Joel Selwood.

"He hasn't taken a backward step that's for sure," said Geelong midfielder Mitch Duncan.

"He has just taken off where he left off when he was at the Cats and his seven years up at Gold Coast were some of his best years as well.

"He's brought it down here and he's been a joy to have down on the track."

When fit, 33-year-old Ablett remains one of the AFL's premier onballers.

It will be a massive boost for Geelong if he can regularly join Selwood and Dangerfield in their midfield rotation.

"I might get pushed to the pine," Duncan said of their potential midfield depth.

"You could name 10 to 12 players who could go through there, so it's going to be tight for spots which is good but that builds competitiveness and a trust in your group."