COLLINGWOOD expects Mason Cox to play against West Coast on Sunday, with the Magpies reluctant to pick Travis Cloke until he hits form.

However, they may be without utility Travis Varcoe, who is in danger of missing the trip west after injuring his hamstring for the second time this season during the Anzac Day clash against Essendon.

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Cox showed he had what it takes to play AFL football just two years after recruiters spotted him at a Los Angeles trial.

He kicked a goal on debut, had 10 touches, took three marks, was competitive in the ruck with 11 hit-outs and laid three tackles. 

Coach Nathan Buckley described it as an excellent performance.

"He gave us everything we selected him for," Buckley said. 

Asked whether Cox had done enough to retain his spot, Buckley was succinct in his response.

"I would have thought so."

Buckley told Fox Footy that he had spoken to Cloke earlier in the week about rediscovering his form.

"The discussions I had with him were about getting back to enjoying his footy and finding that thirst for the contest that's missing at the moment," Buckley said.

"We'll give him as much opportunity as we need to at VFL level to get that back to prove his worth to come back in.

"I think Trav can still be a really damaging player in this competition. I think he's going to be very important for us as our year progresses.

"We need to get the best out of him and we need to work out what that looks like.

"This is short-term but he needs to find that thirst for the contest again, and the second, third and fourth efforts that were so prevalent in him when he plays his best footy, we're looking for that."

'We'll take the win': Bucks

Collingwood football manager Neil Balme agreed thattheout-of-form Cloke would have to recapture his best before being considered for selection.

"He's just not playing with confidence or balance, but he is still having a crack," Balme told K-Rock Football. 

"It might be a week, it might be three or four weeks before he finds (form), but I am sure he will find it…we will work hard with him to make sure that happens."

Cloke kicked two goals and had just five disposals against Essendon VFL at Victoria Park on Sunday.

The extent of Varcoe's injury remained uncertain with Buckley saying that the 27-year-old had tried to convince him after the game that he had been taken off as a precaution.  

"(The) likelihood is that he has disrupted it again, but we'll have wait for scans," Buckley said.

"We'll probably wait to see how it settles first and then go from there."