Collingwood GM of footy Geoff Walsh has lifted the lid on the slew of injuries facing the club leading into Round 1.
The Magpies have once again seen numerous key players suffer setbacks in the preseason, with a dangerous small forward facing the largest uphill battle to play in the season opener against Hawthorn.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Walsh gave updates on the Pies splitting their preseason on the training track and in the medical room.
“He had a nicked calf during the summer with his running program. He is now getting back to what we would call full running fitness. We expect to see him in the JLT series, so he is on track, albeit he had a setback over the Christmas period.”
“He may play the last JLT game. He is probably the one, if you put a pecking order on players who are going to return and when we expect them to return of the guys who have had operations, he is the one at the backend of that.
“He is running over ground and once the medical and conditioning people get them running over ground, it means they aren't too far away from joining the footy program.”
Darcy Moore (including a contract update)
“He will join in the full footy program as of next week, he has made really good progress with that achilles over the last two weeks.
“Ned Guy has started talks with Liam Pickering, so we have started there and from our point of view, he is a player who is a strong part of our future and we want to do something there as quick as we can. I don’t anticipate any problems. He is very committed to the Pies.
“He is running really well. He had a shoulder operation, and the silver lining on that cloud is that the guy can run, and his running fitness is really high. That will help him when he comes back. We will think he will play some JLT.”
“He has had a strong summer, he has a little bit of an achilles soreness right now, which is maybe a sign of his loading because he has had a pretty consistent summer. We will keep him in a rehab sense for the next week or two to get him back joining into the footy program.
“I will expect Daniel to play JLT, because he has had a much better summer.”
Walsh also discussed a pair of young Magpies in Jordan De Goey and James Aish.
There have been whispers that Collingwood isn’t happy with De Goey’s progression and mentality over the preseason, but Walsh says the 21-year-old is simply adjusting to the demands placed on senior footballers.
He also cleared the air from comments defender Tyson Goldsack made about De Goey a few weeks ago.
“His level of fitness, he had an operation over the summer, over the last four-to-five weeks he has made some strong inroads in a fitness sense,” Walsh said.
“It read worse than what Tyson (Goldsack) would have intended. His intent was, we have such high expectations around Jordan in terms of his performance, so we do set the bar higher for him.
“As a young guy, sometimes the intensity of AFL footy day in day out is something he is still coming to terms with. Once he does that, and his understanding of the game matches his raw talent, he will be a really exciting prospect.
“Is he where I would like him to be right now?
“Physically he is getting there, and in terms of his understanding of the impact he can have in a game, I think his teammates are starting to implore they want to see more from him, because they know he is capable of it.”
Meanwhile, Walsh heaped praise on James Aish, saying the former Brisbane Lion could be preparing himself for a big 2018 campaign.
“There looks to be a stronger belief in himself,” he said.
“He is a guy, make no bones about it, who has been rewarded with tonight’s (AFLX) selection off the back of his outstanding preseason form and training form.
“He has been really prominent in all our competitive work, and his attitude towards wanting to be better is as obvious as we have ever seen with him.
“It is great he has the reward tonight, albeit in a different form of the game, but it is recognition he has had a great summer.”
Originally published on SEN.com.au