Scott Pendlebury back to fitness after being hospitalised with illness
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Scott Pendlebury back to fitness after being hospitalised with illness

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury was so sick last week that had the the Pies' final against West Coast been played at the weekend, he would have missed it.

But the Magpies midfielder has declared himself certain to line up against the Eagles in Saturday night's qualifying final in Perth.

Travis Varcoe, who is grieving the death of his sister after a collision in a local footbal game in Adelaide, has also told teammates he wants to play in Perth this week. The funeral for Margaret Varcoe will be held in Adelaide this week.

Scott Pendlebury is now an advocate for the bye.

Scott Pendlebury is now an advocate for the bye.

Photo: AAP

Pendlebury's illness, which was sufficient to send him to hospital but was not viral meningitis as his wife feared last week, has converted him to the merits of the bye.

"It is probably the crookest I have been as long as I remember. My little fella was crook before the Freo game so I was a bit crook before that one and I think just playing and the flight back I was a bit crook for a few days," Pendlebury said.

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"I have just got a little bit of that head cold left now, I trained on the weekend when the boys had the weekend off and the first five or 10 minutes were solid but once I blew the cobwebs out I was fine.

"I am now an advocate of the bye. It's a hard one the way I felt on the weekend, I wouldn't have been able to play but I also knew I didn't have to play so I don't know if that is your body letting it go and just getting it right."

His wife, Alex, sent a scare through the Collingwood faithful last week when she posted on social media that he was suffering viral meningitis.

"I think she was playing on Google too much," Pendlebury laughed.

He said the club was doing what it could to suport Varcoe and his family.

"We wrap our hands around him. We love the bloke. We really care for him and his family," he said.

"If he plays this weekend that's fantastic. If he doesn't play we know why. It's a game of football. Trav's got bigger things with his family he needs to deal with.

"Trav's been around long enough now that if he thinks he's right to play no doubt he'll play and if he thinks he needs some time he'll take some time. We understand that and support him."

Forward Will Hoskin-Elliott said the group was doing what it could to support Varcoe who was at the club and training on Monday.

"We are all here for Trav. I spoke to Trav today and he said he is coping really well and all the boys are right behind him so if he is feeling well we are all going well, but I am not sure about (attending) the funeral it will be in Adelaide.

"I think he will play."

Michael Gleeson is a senior AFL football writer and Fairfax Media's athletics writer. He also covers tennis, cricket and other sports. He won the AFL Players Association Grant Hattam Trophy for excellence in journalism for the second time in 2014 and was a finalist in the 2014 Quill Awards for best sports feature writer. He was also a finalist in the 2014 Australian Sports Commission awards for his work on ‘Boots for Kids’. He is a winner of the AFL Media Association award for best news reporter and a two-time winner of Cricket Victoria’s cricket writer of the year award. Michael has covered multiple Olympics, Commonwealth Games and world championships and 15 seasons of AFL, He has also written seven books - five sports books and two true crime books.