Pies' AFL skipper tipped to overcome pain
No stranger to playing through the pain, Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury appears likely to line up against GWS just days after breaking his finger.
Pendlebury trained fully on Thursday and did not appear restricted, marking with both hands while wearing a guard on the surgically-repaired digit.
Coach Nathan Buckley said Pendlebury had been given the green light from his surgeon and would line up against the Giants on Saturday if he felt ready.
Fellow midfielder Taylor Adams (groin) and backman Jeremy Howe (calf) also trained strongly and appeared certain to return.
Buckley joked that Pendlebury had his own scriptwriter, such was his ability to overcome the pain barrier when his club needed him to.
The five-time All-Australian made a desperate but ultimately unsuccessful bid to play in Collingwood's 2009 qualifying final after breaking his leg a fortnight earlier.
He also battled through last year's finals despite being admitted to hospital with a viral illness, then copping a knock to the head which left him unable to eat solid foods.
The Magpies are confident Pendlebury risks no further damage to the broken middle finger on his left hand by playing on the weekend.
"I think he got the all-clear from the surgeon this morning in regards to the wound itself," Buckley said.
"It'll just be a case of whether he feels he can complete everything that he needs to or be able to handle what the game's going to ask of him.
"He's got his own scriptwriter for that. Just backs against the wall stuff.
"But as I was talking to him about that before training, there's a difference (between) injuries in-game and going in with an injury because you just get it done when they happen in-game."
With six weeks left to secure a top-two finish, the respective return of Adams and Howe is welcome news for a Collingwood side that sits second on the ladder after coming from behind to beat premiers West Coast by a point.
Adams looked in top shape at Thursday's training, having been restricted to just five games this season.
"He's a ripping unit," Buckley said.
"Professional athletes come in all shapes and sizes but as far as professionalism goes, Tay's right up there. And he has a real hunger to see where he can take his career.
"His improvement over the last three or four years has been profound, particularly over the last couple."