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Pies hose down Ben Reid injury speculation

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Ben Reid is a bit sore, but not injured, insisted football chief Neil Balme - ${keywords}
Ben Reid is a bit sore, but not injured, insisted football chief Neil Balme

COLLINGWOOD has rejected claims that key defender Ben Reid has suffered a setback with his troublesome calf.

Reid failed to train on Tuesday, sparking rumours he had again seriously injured his calf.

However Magpies football chief Neil Balme hosed down speculation, declaring it was a long-term plan for the 2011 All Australian to miss the club's NAB Challenge opener against Geelong on Friday night.

"He certainly hasn't torn his calf. I can certainly answer that," Balme said on SEN on Friday morning.

"He might be a bit sore, he might be a bit this.

"He'll play in the NAB Challenge and that's what we've always planned for him to do. No one's going to play three games.

"Watch this space on Reidy."

The speculation came after Reid was one of the standout players in last Thursday night's intraclub game at Olympic Park Oval.

The 26-year-old moved without restriction and showed how important he will be to the team's fortunes this season with expert set-up play from the back half.

Coach Nathan Buckley said on Tuesday that Reid had completed 75-80 per cent of the pre-season, giving himself a good chance at an uninterrupted year.

Reid's presence has been sorely missed, with the defender playing just nine matches in the past two seasons due to a series of calf and quad complaints.

High-flyer Jamie Elliott has already been ruled out of round one due to a persistent back injury.

The star forward will miss a month of training as the Magpies wait for his injury to settle.