Magpies hope Swan will play in AFL

Collingwood star Dane Swan will have until Thursday to prove his fitness for Friday night’s AFL blockbuster against Carlton.

The onballer sprained an ankle in the Anzac Day win over Essendon, forcing him to don a moon-boot this week.

But Swan was able to run for a few minutes at training on Wednesday, raising coach Nathan Buckley’s hopes.

“We plan to have a look at him tomorrow,” Buckley said.

“He did enough on the progressions of getting himself up to play (on) a six-day break.

“He ticked the boxes that he needed to today, but we were always planning to give him another 24 hours.

“We won’t be waiting until Friday – we’ll make the call on him one way or the other tomorrow.”

It will be a big night, with Carlton’s Mick Malthouse to break the AFL record for the most games as a coach.

Malthouse also coached Buckley and Swan at Collingwood, guiding the Magpies to the drought-breaking 2010 premiership.

But Malthouse left Collingwood in strained circumstances at the end of 2011 as Buckley took over as senior coach.

Buckley said he had sent Malthouse a note of congratulations for overhauling Jock McHale’s long-standing record of 714 games as an AFL coach.

“I sent Mick a note a couple of days ago, just saying thank you, basically,” Buckley said.

“Behind all the headlines and the public perspectives, or the media perspectives, he’s contributed so much to so many young men.

“I’ve been one of those young men.

“I’m happy to say thank you in that regard, because I’m hoping not to give him a present this weekend.”

Carlton had their first win of the season last Saturday and Buckley said their contested ball work had been first-rate in the last couple of games.

One of the biggest issues for Carlton until the second half of the Saints win was their forward setup.

“What the makeup of that is, we’ll find out tomorrow night (in selection),” Buckley said.

“They have a few players who may come back and that will change the makeup of their attack.

“Clearly they have a really strong midfield and they can spill into the forward mix and be pretty damaging as well.”

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