GEELONG footballer Billie Smedts is recovering from a cracked leg bone which has derailed the start of his season.
The North Warrnambool Eagles export is yet to play a game this season and is on restricted duties at training.
Smedts suffered a knock to his leg in the Cats’ last practice match against North Melbourne.
The creative forward’s injury was initially diagnosed as bone bruising, but yesterday Geelong coach Chris Scott revealed he had a crack in a “non-weight-bearing bone”.
“Billie’s situation was a little bit hard to come to grips with early on,” Scott said on GeelongCats.com.au
“What we didn’t know is that there was a small crack in there that has come to light in recent times.
“Initially, we were hoping (he’d miss) two, three or four (weeks). Now it looks like somewhere near double that.
“The good news is that he’s halfway through that rehab process.” Geelong meets Hawthorn in a clash between the league’s two undefeated sides on Easter Monday, with a cloud lingering over Cat defender Andrew Mackie’s fitness.
The Cats have defeated Hawthorn in 11 of their past 12 clashes, with their streak ending in preliminary final heartbreak last season.
“It’s always a little bit different for the really big games,” Scott said.
“Most good clubs pride themselves on their consistency of process and we’re no different to that, to an extent.
“But we do embrace the big occasions.
“We really value players who stand up on the big stage against the best opposition and this will be a big stage and they will be very good opposition.
“We’re all just so proud to be part of this era and this rivalry.
“I can’t imagine a better time to be a Geelong or a Hawthorn supporter. I think we will all look back on this era and recognise it as one of the great times in football history.
It’s a stand-alone game on Easter Monday at the MCG. I can’t imagine wanting for a bigger occasion to come and see two good teams go hard at each other.”
In the past decade Geelong has won premierships in 2007, 2009 and 2011, while the Hawks claimed flags in 2008 and 2013.
The clubs clashed in one of the great grand finals of the game’s history in 1989.
However, their recent rivalry kicked off when Hawthorn beat the Cats in the 2008 grand final.