Collingwood are set to make late calls on Ash Johnson and Jack Ginnivan with the pair in doubt for their huge AFL clash with Carlton because of illness.
The ladder-leading Magpies were on high alert on Friday, sending both players home from training to keep them away from teammates and staff ahead of Sunday’s clash.
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The pair were named in the selected team hours later but there was only room for fit-again ruckman Darcy Cameron on the emergency list.
Magpies coach Craig McRae said Johnson and Ginnivan will be re-assessed after a light training session on Saturday.
“They’ve both sort of got the man flu, if you like. Different (levels) of it, we’ll have to wait and see,” McRae said.
“We’ve got a principle right now because this time last year everyone got sick, including myself, and I said, ‘If you’re sick, you’re not coming in’.
“We meet them at the door and then send them home, and those two got sent home.
“I’m not sure exactly where that fits. We’ll wait and see in the next 24 hours.”
Cameron has recovered from a knee injury that has kept him sidelined since round three and trained with Collingwood’s main group on Friday.
The No.1 ruckman shapes as a logical inclusion for Johnson if the latter is not passed fit, though McRae also hinted Cameron could also play as the substitute.
“We’ll weigh up what numbers Darcy has done in terms of load and whether we start him, or we may sub him,” McRae said.
Collingwood have had to get creative in the face of a ruck personnel crisis this season, but are now getting their key pieces back together.
Mason Cox was the star of last week’s big win over GWS in his second game back after recovering from a ruptured spleen.
McRae is hopeful the American cult figure will rebuild the complementary ruck-forward partnership with Cameron that helped propel the Magpies to a preliminary final last year.
“I’d like to think that we get back to what we had all of last year where there’s a balanced approach to it all,” McRae said.
“There’s respect towards the (ruck-forward) combination of both but understanding Darcy’s been out for a number of weeks.
“I don’t think we’re there yet but we’d like to be able to work towards that again.”
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