Brody Mihocek is seen injured during the match between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG in round 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

COLLINGWOOD is set to be without Brody Mihocek for the rest of the season in another significant blow to the Magpies' forward line and the club's premiership defence. 

The 31-year-old suffered a suspected torn pectoral in the fourth quarter of Friday night's 12-point loss to Essendon at the MCG. 

MAGPIES v BOMBERS Full match coverage and stats

Mihocek played on briefly before coming off the ground late in the game, with the Magpies' initial diagnosis expecting the Tasmanian to require surgery. 

"Brody looks like he is going to need surgery and most likely be out for the season," Collingwood coach Craig McRae told reporters on Friday night.

"We’ve got to get scans to officially make that the case. That will happen shortly.

"As we always do, we love and support our players and rally together. It is what it is."


Collingwood ruckman Darcy Cameron left the MCG in an ambulance while the Magpies were in their team meeting to undergo a precautionary scan on his ribs. 

The West Australian has copped multiple blows to the same area in recent weeks and will be assessed to determine the severity.

If scans confirm Collingwood's fears, Mihocek will be sidelined for at least three months in a savage blow to an attack that is currently without premiership trio Mason Cox, Jamie Elliott and Beau McCreery, plus star spearhead Dan McStay.


"We've played some games this year without Brody – he was out for an extended period with a hamstring – I think we look back at those games and we found a way to score," McRae said.

"It comes back to not individuals; magnets don't win games. We've got more experience back in our team than we've had in previous weeks, but for some unknown reason in the past couple of games we've looked more disconnected. 

"It is not about the personnel for us; it never has been; it's not about who is playing, it is how we play; we've got to get back to playing how we want to play."

McRae said McStay could return as soon as next weekend, with a VFL game expected to be required first, despite Melbourne and Brisbane bucking convention by recalling Jake Melksham and Will Ashcroft straight off knee reconstructions in consecutive weekends.

"He is very close, whether it's next week or the week after. It will be exciting to have Dan back. I'm sure everyone will be excited when they see Dan's jumper running around in the VFL or wherever it looks like," he said.

"Clearly with 'Checkers' (Mihocek) going out, we're going to need a guy like Dan ready to present, but we're not going to rush Dan in before he's ready because that doesn't make sense."


McRae defended the club's decision to allow the playing group to remain in Queensland for a couple of extra days after last Saturday's loss to Gold Coast, before returning to Melbourne to prepare for Essendon on a six-day break. 

"We reviewed the game up there and then a group of guys stayed up there and trained the next day. Then we had a day off, as we normally do, and half the group stayed up," he said.

"We won’t compromise on that. I'm not sure that those things (are something) that we would reflect on too much, other than to say, if you walk into our environment on Monday for the first time you've been in our environment, I guarantee you won't know if we won or lost because it's all about getting better."


Collingwood managed an injury crisis through the middle months of the season and rose to the top-four, but now might lose its spot in the eight by the end of the weekend.

After fading late last season to miss out on September in Brad Scott's first season at Essendon, the Bombers had been tracking the same way across the past month, before arresting that slump against Collingwood. 

Scott was thrilled with his side's response after last Saturday night's disappointing 45-point loss to Geelong, especially after the Magpies made a fast start by kicking five of the first six goals. 

"The later in the season, the more important the wins seem," Scott said in his press conference.

"It was a step forward again against really good opposition in circumstances where Collingwood got off to a good start, then we regained our composure. That part was really pleasing.

"I just see the pretty obvious growth. If you use a couple of Anzac Day games and this game tonight, the majority of the teams were pretty similar. Collingwood has been a very good team, so I think that was a good yardstick on the improvement of our team. 

"Have we proven anything? I don’t think so. We've just taken another step forward. There is no doubt in my mind that it is a step forward for us, but unfortunately it doesn't guarantee anything next week or the week after."


Top-10 pick Nate Caddy grasped his third chance at AFL level after being recalled, finishing with 12 disposals, six marks and 1.3 in a performance that showed that the 18-year-old from the Northern Knights belongs at the top level. 

"It is hard not to get excited by him," Scott admitted. 

"We talked pre-game that he is a point of difference. It is very rare that you see a first-year key forward who can have an impact on a game like he can. 

"We saw that through the pre-season. We thought we knew what we were drafting. We saw it in pre-season. He is a very, very exciting player and an important player for what we’re doing."