Collingwood’s AFL season is facing significant challenges due to a growing injury crisis, impacting their squad depth as they prepare for their upcoming clash against the Western Bulldogs. The team’s injury woes deepened this week, with several key players sidelined for extended periods, further testing the team’s resilience and strategy.

Jordan De Goey, a pivotal figure for Collingwood, is out for another month due to an abdominal tendon tear initially mistaken for minor groin discomfort. This injury was diagnosed following further assessments after De Goey missed the recent draw with Fremantle. His absence will undoubtedly impact the team’s offensive capabilities, as he’s a crucial part of their attack.

Adding to the Magpies’ concerns, Mason Cox is expected to miss six weeks following a knee injury compounded by concussion protocols. This injury occurred during the same match against Fremantle, where Cox suffered a Grade 2 medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury. The dual nature of his injuries—both concussion and knee damage—makes his timeline for return uncertain and rehabilitation crucial.

Collingwood’s forward line suffers further as Brody Mihocek, who re-injured his hamstring in the draw with Fremantle, is slated to miss three to five weeks. This setback follows a troublesome period for Mihocek, who has been struggling to maintain fitness amidst recurring hamstring issues.

The injury list extends with Joe Richards, a fan favorite, who sustained a metatarsal fracture and is expected to be out for four to five weeks. His absence will remove a key element from Collingwood’s strategic setups, especially in the forward half.

On a slightly positive note, Collingwood could see the return of Jeremy Howe and Jack Bytel against the Bulldogs. Both players are slated for fitness tests during the main training session this week. Howe’s experience and Bytel’s youthful energy could provide some relief to the team’s depleted lineup.

Other players like Jamie Elliott and Tom Mitchell are on modified training programs as they recover from a vascular issue and plantar fasciitis, respectively. Their timelines for return vary, but both are crucial for the team’s mid-season revival plans. Will Hoskin-Elliott is also expected back in a fortnight, potentially boosting the team’s lineup as they navigate through this challenging period.

This series of injuries comes at a critical juncture for Collingwood, affecting their preparations and potentially their performance in the coming weeks. The team’s depth, resilience, and ability to adapt to these adversities will be pivotal as they strive to maintain their competitive edge in the AFL season.