Collingwood's key position options have taken a double hit ahead of its season opener against Fremantle with swingman Ben Reid and ruck-forward Jesse White missing Friday night's clash against the grand finalist at Etihad Stadium because of calf muscle injuries.
The pair were restricted to light duties at Wednesday morning training and the Magpies predictably decided playing them was not worth the risk.
The Dockers, meanwhile, have made the shock inclusion of Colin Sylvia in its squad as cover for Danyle Pearce.
Magpies football director Rodney Eade said Reid and White probably would have been available if the team played on the second weekend of the split first round.
''We made the decision not to train them,'' Eade said. ''The feeling was they might have been able to get through, but there was some small risk that they might have … hurt themselves. We've decided not to take any risks with any players and they won't play on Friday.
''The thought was that really round one, except for finals, is probably the fastest game of the year and it's certainly a game you can be caught short in if you get some injuries during the game.''
The absence of White, who was recruited from Sydney, will complicate how Collingwood try to combat giant Dockers ruckman Aaron Sandilands. Reid is also a major loss for the Magpies, given his ability at either end of the ground.
He injured his calf last month in the practice match against Gold Coast, while the Magpies are unsure exactly how White hurt himself.
''It's a real odd one - it's not at training and not in a game,'' said Eade. ''His pre-season has been very good and we think he's going to add another dimension to our forward line. He believes he didn't do anything on the Saturday; it's strange to get a tight calf in that situation.''
Eade added that veteran ruckman Ben Hudson might be an option for Sandilands. ''Huddo has done well in the past - he's got a reasonable record of at least nullifying Sandilands at times,'' he said.
''He's a big unit, so I think it's very difficult for any player to have an effect on him unless you're [Nic] Naitanui who can jump over him.
Greater Western Sydney recruit Taylor Adams will play his first game for Collingwood, while third-round draft pick Tom Langdon is on track for his AFL debut.
Premiership defender Alan Toovey is back from the knee reconstruction he needed following last year's Anzac Day match against Essendon.
Fremantle looks likely to go into the game having made just two changes from last year's grand final side.
While recruit Sylvia and ruckman Zac Clarke were both surprise inclusions in the 25-player travelling squad, neither are expected to play. And it appears club champion Nat Fyfe and forward Hayden Ballantyne have overcome leg injuries and will take to Etihad Stadium to tackle the Magpies.