Maligned forward Chris Mayne is no certainty to play in Collingwood’s season opener against Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday night, despite a rash of injuries hitting the club.
Leading goal kicker Jamie Elliott will miss with an ankle injury and there are concerns over forward Alex Fasolo after off-season shoulder surgery.
Tyson Goldsack (knee), Daniel Wells (Achilles), Adam Oxley (shoulder) and Jordan De Goey (club ban) are unavailable, while Levi Greenwood (knee) and James Aish (calf) are doubtful.
Mayne, 29, endured a dramatic fall from grace during his debut season at Collingwood, playing the first three games before seeing out the year in the reserves.
His father, Steve, hit out at the club and coach Nathan Buckley via social media in September over their treatment of the former Fremantle pressure specialist, who joined the Magpies as a free agent on a four-year deal worth about $2 million.
Collingwood assistant coach Justin Longmuir said Mayne had worked tirelessly over the pre-season.
“He’s been training really well,” he said.
“He’s really brought that defensive pressure and intent to our training. At the moment, he hasn’t done a lot wrong, but he’s just going to have to be patient with an opportunity. If it comes, I’m sure he’ll take it.”
Longmuir, who left West Coast at the end of last season to join Collingwood, is the Magpies’ defensive coach and said he had been impressed by Darcy Moore since his move to the back line in the pre-season.
“He’s really embraced the role, which is probably the No.1 thing when you shift positions,” Longmuir said.
“He’s been willing to learn from not only me, but all of his fellow back men.
“If he can get his defensive positioning and his defensive attitude right, which he has so far, then that will allow his strengths to really come to the fore. I’m really excited by what he can do down there.
“If he embraces it and does well, it’ll be a long-term thing for him.”