COLLINGWOOD is adamant recruit Jeremy Howe broke his finger while playing frisbee with his dog, and not during a suburban cricket match.
Following AFL.com.au’s story on Howe undergoing finger surgery after the bizarre injury, reports surfaced late on Tuesday evening that the 25-year-old may have in fact suffered the injury while playing cricket.
The Magpies said that Howe had filled in for the Koonung Heights Cricket Club, which was short on numbers, in a local Twenty20 semi-final against Vermont last week.
But after grilling Howe about his version of events, the club was satisfied that he was telling the truth and that the injury happened later that night when he attempted to catch a frisbee while walking his dog with his girlfriend.
Howe told the club he was on the field for a few overs, before the player who he was replacing turned up late to the ground.
The former Demon said he then signed some autographs for fans before leaving.
The scorecard from the match shows Howe bowled his full complement of four overs in the T20 clash, returning figures of 0/20. He did not bat, despite having been the team's third-highest run scorer across his four previous T20 matches for Koonung Heights this season.
Howe went under the knife late last week after he got his middle finger caught in the ground while attempting to catch a frisbee playing with his dog at home.
The 25-year-old had to have two screws inserted in the lower part of his finger and he is expected to wear some form of cast before making his return to training.
Howe, who has already been battling foot soreness this pre-season, is unlikely to be fit for the opening round of the season.
"He'll obviously be out for a few weeks," Magpies football manager Neil Balme told AFL.com.au earlier on Tuesday.
"There's probably no hope of him playing round one. With these two things going against him, it's going to be hard for him to get in front of it."
The finger injury was a relatively minor procedure but it will still cause some interruptions in the former's Demon's ability to complete any touch work at training.
"It probably complicates [his return date] a bit," Balme said.
"He needs to keep off his foot, and the fact that his hand's not working, he won't be trying to get to the footys too quickly."
The Magpies put Howe on a modified program in January, fearful his foot soreness could have had the potential to develop into a stress fracture.
Howe, who kicked 80 goals in 100 games for Melbourne, was traded to Collingwood in the off-season as part of a four-way deal also involving Jimmy Toumpas moving to Port Adelaide, Paul Seedsman landing at Adelaide and Ben Kennedy shifting to the Demons.
The high-flyer has been slated to play as a forward for Collingwood after spending the majority of his final season at Melbourne as a rebounding defender.
- with staff writers