Collingwood’s experiment with a three talls in attack is set to continue for another week after star forward Jamie Elliott was ruled out of the Pies’ clash with North Melbourne.
Coach Nathan Buckley had been hopeful Euroa product Elliott would be available to take on the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night when he spoke at a press conference yesterday.
But Elliott, who has been absent since round eight when he suffered a hamstring injury, was officially ruled out just hours later.
With an extra week under his belt, Elliott will press his claim for a return against Hawthorn in round 16.
‘‘He’s trained really strongly over the past couple of weeks, did a massive session on Sunday, will train fully through this week ... we’re looking forward to getting him back,’’ Buckley said.
‘‘He’s been really impressive.
‘‘He hasn’t (had any setbacks).
‘‘I think we communicated (his return at) the bye initially, but as we know, it’s just a matter of building guys up and getting their conditioning back to where we think they’re right to play.
‘‘And not just to play, but to perform at the top level.
‘‘Jamie hasn’t missed a beat.’’
Following Jaidyn Stephenson’s 10-game gambling ban, Buckley trialled Ben Reid with Mason Cox and Brodie Mihocek in a taller attack than he would usually prefer in a scrappy win against the Western Bulldogs.
Buckley was unimpressed by the quality of football his side produced against the Dogs and is no clearer on what his ideal forward line looks like without Stephenson.
‘‘I don’t think that was a game where we can really judge if our forward structure was effective or not,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got a lot of growth in us and we’ve got to keep exploring our forward structure to see if we can find something better.’’
Jeremy Howe, who injured a calf in the second quarter of the nine-point win against the Dogs, is set to miss two to three matches.
Taylor Adams’ frustrating run continues and the important midfielder still at least two weeks away from resuming from a groin problem sustained in round seven.
‘‘He pushed really hard to get back early and thought that he would get back,’’ Buckley said.
‘‘There was a game where he was nearly going to play (against Sydney in round 10) and it just didn’t stand up.
‘‘We want to make sure that he’s absolutely ready to go before we pull the trigger.’’