Ling aggravated a hamstring complaint three weeks ago, while Chapman has been struggling with groin soreness and the Cats were fearful of playing him in a practice match because of his poor history with soft tissue injuries.
Cats assistant coach Brenton Sanderson believes it will be a talking point amongst the match committee this week to determine how many players they were willing to risk being underdone in the season opener.
“It’d be touch and go for those guys round one,” Sanderson said.
“We’ll probably have a decent squad to pick from in round one. It’s just how many players that we take in that are a little bit underdone.”
Recent matches between the Cats and the Saints – which have proved to have been season-defining - have shown that it takes a toll on the players’ bodies because of their taxing game-plans and tough rivalry.
Key mature-age forward James Podsiadly appears unlikely to be playing round one because of a broken hand that he sustained in a NAB Cup match against North Melbourne.
Midfielder Jimmy Bartel suffered concussion and James Kelly’s performance yesterday was hindered because of a virus, but both are expected to be fit for round one.
Cameron Mooney and Tom Hawkins played on limited game time in yesterday’s practice match against Carlton at Visy Park.
While,Travis Varcoe also returned with blistering form.
“It was good for us,” Sanderson said.
“Those guys are certainly on target for us. It was good to see Moons play well and Travvy Varcoe probably didn’t miss a beat. I’m pretty happy with the form of our senior players,” he said.