2011 Brownlow Medallist Dane Swan will miss the next month of football after injuring his foot during last Sunday's defeat to Essendon.
Collingwood star Swan has hurt the plantar fascia in his left foot. He appeared to be hindered during the thumping at the hands of the Bombers, and was restricted to 20 disposals in an underwhelming performance.
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“We think Swannie can still be a strong contributor this season but in the short term it is clear that he needs to heal, get his foot right and reclaim that burst speed which has been such a feature of his game,” Magpies football manager Rodney Eade said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon.
Swan has played 15 of the 16 games so far this year, and while his form has been patchy, he is still averaging 25 disposals per game in 2014. He endured glandular fever prior to the season, as well as undergoing wrist surgery.
The three-time Copeland Trophy winner has been remarkably durable, playing no fewer than 21 games in any completed season since 2006.
Swan was hopeful he could still play a role in the finals.
"It’s on the foot underneath, so it’s not pleasant. I’m going to have a spell and try and get myself better and make an impact in the last couple of games, hopefully. Hopefully we sneak into the finals and I can make an impact there because I haven’t made one yet," he told radio station Triple M.
Swan said he had hampered in recent months.
"I’ve obviously had little ailments and little niggles all year, but none of them have been major enough to keep me out of games. I still believed I could make an positive impact on the side, and I haven’t done that to the best of my ability. I expect a lot more of myself and I just haven’t been able to do that for some reason this year."
"I just needed a rest and the plantar fascia thing popped up and it will give someone else a go. Hopefully we can win a couple of games while I’m out and hopefully I can squeeze back in with a couple of games to go and make a positive impact."
Collingwood has lost four of its past five games, leaving their place in the top eight in jeopardy. They next face fellow finals contender Adelaide at the MCG on Sunday week, with games against Port Adelaide (MCG), West Coast (Patersons Stadium) and the Brisbane Lions (MCG) to follow.
The Pies were dealt a blow on Wednesday when former captain and defender Nick Maxwell announced his immediate retirement after sustaining an ankle in the match against the Bombers.
However the Pies appear likely to regain key position utility Ben Reid after he emerged unscathed from last Saturday's VFL game against Werribee. Reid has not played an AFL game since last year's elimination final defeat to Port Adelaide.
Small forward Jamie Elliott is also listed as available, and midfielder Tim Broomhead will come under notice after a 35-possession effort for the Collingwood VFL team. Other senior selection options include tall defender Lachie Keefe, young ruckman Brodie Grundy, and flanker Alex Fasolo.
-with Emma Quayle