Collingwood will bring Adam Treloar through the VFL as they aim for him to be ready for round one of the AFL regular season.
Their highest-profile recruit had groin surgery in the off season and will return on Sunday in a pre-season match against Werribee.
Their senior team will have played their second NAB Challenge game the previous day, against North Melbourne in Wagga.
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley hopes Treloar shows on the weekend that he will be ready for their third and final AFL pre-season match.
“His last month, five weeks has been pristine,” Buckley said.
“He’s been in really good shape and got some really solid work in.
“He’s up and ready to go – it’s the next progression for him and we’re smoothing his progression to a round-one berth.”
Collingwood will bring back captain Scott Pendlebury, Travis Cloke, Darcy Moore and Tom Langdon in Wagga and their list is in solid shape.
But there is renewed uncertainty around tall utility Ben Reid, who has had a wretched run with injury.
Collingwood football manager Neil Balme emphatically denied last week that Reid had another calf strain.
Buckley admitted Reid was sent for a scan, but again is hopeful he will play in their last pre-season match.
“There was nothing on the scan that we were overly concerned with, but we’re treating him clinically,” Buckley said.
“He’s likely to do some running tomorrow and Thursday.
“We’ll see how that’s settled and progress from there.”
Meanwhile, Buckley shrugged off the controversy surrounding the move of their round-one match against Sydney from ANZ Stadium to the SCG.
The Collingwood hierarchy are fuming that the game was moved so close to the start of the season.
“It’s no skin off our nose,” Buckley said of the team.
“There is the small matter of actually being a party to the decision a month out and I think that’s where Perty (chief executive Gary Pert) and Ed (president Eddie McGuire) are coming from.”
And Buckley defended Magpies forward Alex Fasolo, who is under AFL investigation for allegedly urinating into a cup while on the interchange bench during last Friday night’s match against Geelong.
The Simonds Stadium ground redevelopment meant the team’s rooms were on the other side of the ground.
“What happened was reasonable in the circumstances,” Buckley said.