Norm Smith medallist Paul Chapman's record over 14 seasons, 247 games and three premierships won't guarantee him an easy passage into a Geelong team chasing its fourth flag in seven years, according to coach Chris Scott.

The 31-year-old will play for the Cats' VFL team on Friday night against Collingwood, his first game since being dogged by a hamstring injury suffered in round four. Scott said he had the potential to make the sort of September impact his old Brisbane Lions teammate Clark Keating gained a reputation for, but would have to earn his place.

''We're only at round 17 of a 23-round season, so there is plenty of time for him to come back and play some decent footy,'' Scott said. ''But we will pick our best team for the finals based on a whole number of factors and on merit.

''Chappy's history will count for a little bit, but it will only be a little bit. We've got some young players who are playing well at AFL level, and we've got to make sure we're not blinded by the big names when we decide who's best value to the team in that moment.''

Scott said Chapman would play ''two or three quarters'' on Friday night and would be reassessed from there.