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Cats speedster OUT of grand final

Geelong youngster Max Holmes has been withdrawn from the Cats’ grand final team.

The 20-year old has been battling a hamstring injury suffered in the Cats’ preliminary final win over Brisbane, but was named in their starting 22 on Thursday night and given every chance to prove his fitness.

However, according to the Herald Sun, a secret training session on Friday morning in which Holmes was able to move unencumbered by the injury wasn’t enough to convince Chris Scott, who is taking no risks heading into the grand final.

Holmes’ replacement is yet to be confirmed by the Cats, but one of Brandan Parfitt or Mark O’Connor, both named as emergencies, are expected to come in.

O’Connor replaced Holmes as the medical sub in the preliminary final.

The wingman’s grand final dream appeared dashed when he left the field clutching his hamstring in the third quarter against the Lions, and was clearly devastated on the interchange bench.

But scans early in the week revealed good news, with Holmes suffering only a neural injury and not a strain or tear.

The brutal call is the first late change for a grand final since Collingwood’s Simon Prestigiacomo made the selfless decision to withdraw himself in 2010, having deemed he’d not sufficiently recovered from a thigh injury.

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