Safety first with Stevie J

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 01 Maret 2013 | 12.50

Steve Johnson kicks the first goal. Picture: George Salpigtidis Source: Herald Sun

GEELONG has taken a cautious approach by withdrawing premiership pair Steve Johnson and Joel Corey from tomorrow's NAB Cup clash against Adelaide at Simonds Stadium.

Cats football manager Neil Balme said the duo had pulled up sore from training today.

"They both tried to train today and they were a bit sore, so we decided not to play them,'' Balme said.

"I think it's only about tomorrow ... it's certainly nothing serious.''

Johnson will miss Round 1 of the home-and-away season after being suspended for striking Hayden Ballantyne in the first round of the NAB Cup.

Johnson and Corey have been replaced in the Cats' squad by Brad Hartman and former basketballer Ryan Bathie, but Balme said they would be the likely emergencies.

Premiership players Paul Chapman, Andrew Mackie and James Kelly will have their first pre-season hitouts against the Crows.

Meanwhile, Balme said earlier ruckman Nathan Vardy was expected to make a return before Round 1.

"As we know he had quite a serious hip issue which is pretty good, he's got a very slight groin issue that we are being very conservative with.'' Balme said on SEN.

"He'll play almost certainly within the next week or two.

"He's in pretty good shape and he'll be fine.''

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