St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt, like his Collingwood counterpart Scott Pendlebury, is in some doubt for Friday night’s AFL clash.
As expected, Riewoldt and Pendlebury were named for the MCG match.
But Pendlebury suffered an ankle injury last weekend and Riewoldt started training on Thursday with his left calf strapped.
While Riewoldt took off the strapping during the light Moorabbin session, the Saints will wait to see how he pulls up on Friday morning.
Adding to the intrigue, last year’s No.1 draft pick Paddy McCartin was added to the St Kilda emergencies.
If Riewoldt is a late withdrawal, McCartin appears certain to make his official AFL debut.
Likewise, father-son recruit Darcy Moore is a Collingwood emergency and he will play his first senior game if included in the side.
Riewoldt’s teammate Jack Newnes, who will play his 50th game on Friday night, said his captain did not train on Tuesday.
But the Saints are confident Riewoldt will play.
“I think he will – we’ve had two six-day breaks, so it’s been pretty grinding on everyone’s bodies,” Newnes said.
“But he’s looking good for this week.”
Collingwood onballer Taylor Adams is also in some doubt after also suffering a lower leg injury last weekend.
The injury-plagued Magpies lost Ben Sinclair (hamstring) and dropped Alex Fasolo.
Sam Dwyer and Corey Gault will take their places.
The Saints left out Tom Curren for veteran forward Adam Schneider.
St Kilda are full of confidence after last week’s away win over Gold Coast and will fancy their chances against the depleted Magpies.
Newnes is relishing the circumstances of his 50-game milestone.
“It’s worked out well – it’s a big game for us, our only Friday night game for the year and especially on the ‘G,” he said.
Most pundits tipped St Kilda for the wooden spoon this season and a win over the Magpies would be a massive statement by the young side.
“We have a lot of confidence internally and we’re really excited for this week,” Newnes said.
“We haven’t been rated too much so far but, hopefully in the next month, we can really turn a few people’s views around.”