The bad news continues for Collingwood’s Jordan De Goey, who will be out of AFL action for two to three weeks because of a quad muscle strain.
Josh Carmichael will take De Goey’s place on Saturday against North Melbourne at the MCG for his AFL debut, just three weeks after joining the Magpies as a mature-age recruit through the mid-season draft.
A scan confirmed the injury for De Goey after he left Thursday training early.
Collingwood said in a statement he had a mild strain and will be assessed further next week, but they expect him to miss two to three games.
De Goey made a quiet AFL return last week in the win over Gold Coast.
He had come back to the club a few days earlier after taking time off for personal reasons, following his ill-fated trip to Bali during the mid-season bye.
Collingwood gave him a suspended $25,000 fine and he apologised for his behaviour after video emerged of De Goey partying at a Bali bar.
The club has put contract negotiations with De Goey on hold until the end of the year.
It was already a big season for De Goey, who is eligible for free agency later this year, after he was arrested in New York last year during an off-season trip.
He had played all but one game before the mid-season break.
But his injury now opens the door for Carmichael, 22, who was playing country football in Victoria this time last year.
Collingwood recruited him last month from SANFL side West Adelaide, where he had played this season.
Before De Goey’s injury the main focus of the Collingwood-North Melbourne clash had been the Kangaroos’ ongoing woes and the fate of coach David Noble.
While the Magpies are in the top eight on the back of six-straight wins, North are in the depths of a horror 13-game losing streak.
Geelong mauled them by 112 points last Saturday night and North have set an AFL record for the most consecutive losses by 40 points or more.
Noble and North captain Jack Ziebell, who will return from a facial fracture, have spoken this week of the need for the Kangaroos to stay the course and trust in their ongoing rebuild.
But with long-time Kangaroos football administrator Geoff Walsh back at the club in an advisory role, another heavy loss on Saturday could prove the tipping point for Noble’s tenure.
North made six changes for the match, losing ruckman Tristan Xerri to impending shoulder surgery that will probably end his season.
Callum Coleman-Jones will take Xerri’s place.
Phoenix Spicer, who came on as the medical substitute last week, Bailey Scott, Aidan Bonar and Flynn Perez also come into the side.
Apart from De Goey’s late withdrawal, Collingwood lost key defender Darcy Moore (knee) and Jeremy Howe will take his place after one game out because of illness.