Tallygaroopna legend Steele Sidebottom has become a father — and the Collingwood star could yet return to Queensland to finish the AFL campaign.
Sidebottom's fiancee Alisha Edwards gave birth to Matilda on Saturday and with mother and daughter doing well, speculation has turned to the prospect of the Magpies midfielder rejoining the squad, particularly after the side beat Gold Coast on Monday night to lock up a finals position.
Sidebottom left the Queensland hub late last month to be at the birth, and would need to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to the state.
While that already rules him out of next week's round 18 regular season closer, a general bye the following week leaves the door open for him being with the squad for finals.
Collingwood assistant coach Brenton Sanderson told Seven News on Monday night the club had not started worrying about his return yet.
“It's important that we just allow Steele to get some family time, so it's obviously only happened within the last 48 hours. We'll give him that space to enjoy that, and that's obviously a decision that will be made at some point in the future,” he said.
“He would be a nice bonus for us if we could get Steele back at some point in the finals.”
● Meanwhile, Katamatite's Tom Clurey has suffered an injury setback on the eve of finals.
The vital Power defender has a minor hamstring injury, stemming from Saturday's comprehensive win against Essendon.
But Port Adelaide assistant coach Brent Montgomery said while Clurey would miss round 18, the club expected him to be fit for finals.
● Collingwood's netball side will continue the club's recognition of the Cummeragunja walk-off when it wears dresses designed by Yorta Yorta trio Ross Morgan Sr, Ross Morgan Jr and Wayne Morgan for the upcoming indigenous round.
The Magpies will wear the same design their football counterparts did earlier this season, depicting the 1939 walk-off in protest of the conditions on the mission and government treatment.
The design includes many Yorta Yorta symbols including the long-necked turtle, while diamonds on the design symbolise the strength and resilience of the ancestors that led the walk-off.