Magpies forward McStay confirmed for return from injury

Key Collingwood forward Dan McStay will play limited minutes in the VFL just eight months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at training.

Fellow goal-kicking ace Jamie Elliott is likely to be included for the Magpies' crucial clash with Geelong on Friday night if he pulls up well following training after dealing with a niggling vascular issue for two months.

McStay, who missed the Pies' grand final win last year due to a separate knee injury, was given a rousing reception by teammates at training on Wednesday after being a confirmed inclusion for the club's VFL team.

Dan McStay will play in the VFL just eight months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

An ACL injury generally rules AFL players out for 12 months, but McStay will be back out there in less than nine.

His comeback game against the Cats will be at the same ground - Victoria Park - where he suffered the serious injury in December.

Despite Collingwood struggling with injuries to forwards - most recently to Brody Mihocek - coach Craig McRae has resisted the temptation to rush McStay straight back in at AFL level.

"He's been out for eight months and it's a great testament to how hard he's worked to get to get his chance to come back and play," McRae said.

"At AFL level you can't compromise ... if we want him to play a certain amount of minutes and then come off and get some treatment.

"Funnily enough for the last two months I've thought 'geez, he looks like he's ready to play'.

"He's so strong and it's a testament to our high performance team ... I know he set himself up incredibly well."

Elliott hasn't played since the Magpies' round-nine win against Carlton and his expected presence will be important.

Jamie Elliott.
Jamie Elliott on the training paddock in preparation for his Collingwood comeback.

"He looks like he's fit and ready to go," McRae said of Elliott.

"If training form is anything to go by it's going to be hard not to pick him."

Veteran swingman Jeremy Howe experienced some hamstring tightness at training on Monday and is unlikely to face Geelong.

The 34-year-old failed to complete Wednesday's session, with McRae all but ruling him out.

"I haven't got the latest update but it'd be unlikely he plays," McRae said.

The positive news about McStay and Elliott was offset by the medical retirement of forward Josh Carmichael due to concussion earlier on Wednesday.

Carmichael is the second Collingwood player, after premiership hero Nathan Murphy, to be forced to call it quits this year because of a head knock.

Carmichael
Josh Carmichael has retired due to concussion.

The 24-year-old played eight games for the Magpies after being selected in the 2022 mid-season draft.

"This young lad's got ongoing symptoms, which we don't wish on anyone," McRae said.

"Now it's a moment for him to sort of take the football away and get himself right to be able to live a normal life. 

"We want our footballers to leave this environment as better people and be able to be fathers and husbands."

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