Collingwood will take the conservative approach with talented swingman Ben Reid, who is set to miss an extended period of AFL action with a calf injury.
After sitting out the season-opening loss to Fremantle, Reid had been considered a good chance of returning to the Magpies’ lineup for Saturday night’s big match against Sydney at ANZ Stadium.
But while Jesse White (calf) has been given the all-clear to play his first match in black and white against his old team, Reid has been ruled out by coach Nathan Buckley.
“He hasn’t passed a couple of the hurdles he’s been asked to jump,” Buckley said on Tuesday.
“To be conservative now, we think he’s going to be another two to three weeks.
“We will have to ease up his progressions.”
Buckley said Reid’s absence just presents an opportunity for another player.
“There are no risks worth taking right now and, to be honest, he wouldn’t be capable anyway,” Buckley said.
“He needs to get back, robust and physically ready to go, before we give him the green light.”
Reid would have been among the leading contenders to play on star Sydney recruit Lance Franklin, who had an excellent record against the Magpies when playing for former team Hawthorn.
That onerous job is now likely to go to Nathan Brown or Lachie Keeffe.
“(Franklin) has got a fairly good record against us in a team that, in the last two years, has had a very strong record against us,” said Buckley.
“He’s a very good player, he’s got a great talent, a great work ethic.
“He can kill you in the air and on the ground and that’s why Sydney chased him so hard.”
Buckley said ruck-forward White, 26, was a certain inclusion to take on the Swans.
“He’s right to go and excited about taking on his old club,” said the coach.
“He’s had a really strong pre-season and had obviously been in the system for a long period of time when we recruited him.
“We thought he’d played the best football of his career in the last 12 months and he’s really been focused on taking it to another level.”