After months of growing speculation of his return to Geelong, the 33-year-old Gold Coast midfielder put pen to paper for the Cats after seven seasons with the Suns.
Ablett’s move gives Geelong their best chance at winning a premiership since taking the flag in 2011 over Collingwood.
The legend’s long-awaited return also means Geelong will have one of the most potent midfields in the competition with a star-studded line-up featuring hard-as-nails Joel Selwood and 2016 Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield.
But as Ablett’s fairytale homecoming approaches — Geelong has found itself in a bit of a pickle.
Herald Sun footy journalist Jon Ralph says the Cats have to fight tooth and nail to keep the ageing Ablett in top shape after unearthing an uncomfortable stat about the former Suns skipper.
“How does Geelong keep Gary Ablett fit until September?” Ralph said on SEN’s The Run Home Tuesday.
“I look back at the stats, in the last four years he has played a single game after Round 17.
“He’s had hamstring tendon issues, he’s had shoulder issues, and sometimes people have said he hasn’t necessarily wanted to play those games. I don’t know what it was all about.”
“Do they not play him in away games? Do they say to him like Nick Riewoldt and Alex Rance, ‘we’ll see you after Christmas — and you know what we might start you in Round 4 or Round 6’,” he said.
“Nothing he does in the first 15 weeks can win them a premiership, he can certainly lose them a premiership if he does a hamstring tendon.”