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Magpies rule out Arizona return

COLLINGWOOD has ruled out a repeat of last year's mid-season sojourn to Arizona by some players, an experiment that worked well for Dane Swan in his Brownlow Medal-winning season.

Last year, the Magpies sent four players — Swan, Nathan Brown, Darren Jolly and Brent Macaffer — to Arizona, where the club has held a November training camp for several years, in a bid to boost their fitness and aid in the recovery from injury during the mid-season break. Swan, the only player who did not have a significant injury, missed one game but surged in the second half of the season on the back of his break.

But the Magpies, who had more injuries early this season, have not even considered the possibility of another Arizona trip to assist a small group of players.

"We have not got that on the agenda this year," said Collingwood football department chief Geoff Walsh. "We won't be sending any players to Arizona in the break this year."

Walsh said that last year certain players had been well situated to go to Arizona. "It was an assessment we did at the time and individual circumstances obviously suited last year. To be honest, we haven't had the discussion to the depth of last year now anyway. It's really not on the radar."

If the results were excellent for Swan, they were less so for Brown, who suffered another knee injury on the mid-season trip. Jolly went away while he recovered from knee surgery, an operation that led to him missing eight consecutive games and which saw him struggle for much of the season. Macaffer, who had a foot injury last year and had a knee reconstruction in February, managed only four games in 2011 due to his setbacks.