Collingwood have fresh injury and form concerns ahead of the annual Anzac Day clash against Essendon.
Key forward Travis Cloke, utility Ben Sinclair and swingman Ben Reid all required medical attention during Sunday’s shock 35-point AFL loss to Melbourne.
Sinclair did not return after being concussed late in the first half, Cloke damaged his elbow, while Reid battled on gamely after experiencing soreness in his knee.
Cloke also had to stay on the park during the final term of the 16.6 (102) to 9.13 (67) loss, although he was clearly under duress.
“Sinclair was concussed, Reidy fought through pretty well and wouldn’t have been put out there if he wasn’t right to go but he’ll be assessed through the week and Clokey jagged his elbow and basically couldn’t put his arm above his head late,” said coach Nathan Buckley.
“If you’re a marking player and you can’t put your arms above your head I reckon you’ll struggle.”
Essendon continue to defy the doom and gloom widely predicted for a team forced to recruit top-up players to replace the dozen suspended for the season for their role in the controversial supplements scandal.
Two weeks after beating Melbourne, the Bombers stayed with Geelong for three quarters on Saturday, before going down 9.18 (72) to 6.6 (42).
Buckley said the huge number of upsets in the opening four rounds proved that no opponents could be taken lightly by a Magpies lineup whose only victory this season was a lucky one-point escape against under-fire Richmond.
“We’re in it together,” said Buckley.
“The coaches and players are in it together, the club is in it together.
“(Captain Scott Pendlebury) made the point that when you look up on the scoreboard it says Collingwood and we’re all a part of it.
“So contrary to opinion, there’s no cracks, there’s no gaps in us.
“We’re all in together, we’re either succeeding or failing together and right now we’re not finding our best.”