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AFL: Collingwood clears Jordan De Goey to return against Adelaide

Collingwood star Jordan De Goey has been cleared of a serious groin issue and is set to return against Adelaide on Saturday after training strongly at Olympic Park.

Magpies coach Craig McRae said De Goey would be an inclusion alongside Lachie Schultz (suspension) as another forward reshuffle looms due to Jeremy Howe’s groin strain.

Howe was pushed forward against West Coast to provide a target in the absence of Brody Mihocek (hamstring) and Jamie Elliott (foot) but was ruled out before halftime.

A recall for Ash Johnson or Nathan Kreuger or a positional switch for Billy Frampton were all on the cards for the Magpies as McRae said it was important to find a forward to help bring the ball to ground.

The coach said Tom Mitchell would miss at least one more week due to a plantar fasciitis flare-up after his recovery was interrupted by time in hospital with appendicitis last week.

“Jordy (De Goey) got through training well – he’s got a spring in his step.

“Tom (Mitchell) won’t play, Tom’s got that foot issue that’s still just lingering around, so he won’t play.”

After Harvey Harrison suffered a rolled ankle, Jack Bytel was concussed and Howe injured his groin against the Eagles, McRae said it felt like every forward he turned to was going down.

“Every time we try to fill a void to support that part of our game, unfortunately right now that’s very difficult for us,” he said.

“We’ve got to work through that. What we’re doing right now is we’re finding a way to score – we’re scoring nearly every second time we go inside 50, and it’s a high percentage.

“It’s not so much the size of the person, it’s the person that plays a role there … I think we’re one of the best teams in the comp right now at ground balls inside forward 50 and pressure, so most parts of our game are sound, it’s just about getting the ball to ground and having the right magnets in place to make that a feature for us.”

McRae said the Magpies would discuss recruiting a ruckman or key forward at the mid-season draft as back-up rucks Oscar Steene (toe) and Aiden Begg (knee ligaments) remain sidelined.

He also said wingman Ed Allan was “getting closer” to a senior debut after he was a carry-over emergency against the Eagles last week.

Defender John Noble will become the first mid-season draft pick to reach 100 games when he faces the Crows on Saturday.

McRae said it was a “great story of resilience” after the 27-year-old was overlooked at several drafts.

“He’s been knocked back many times to be drafted, and he’s had to have resilience to get through last year and not be part of the last day in September,” he said.

“We’ll celebrate that tomorrow, and ideally we celebrate by doing well for him.”

Originally published as AFL 2024: Collingwood clears Jordan De Goey to return against Adelaide

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