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Bucks confirms debut pair in black and white

Jaidyn Stephenson will make his debut for the Magpies on Saturday - AFL,Sam Murray,Jaidyn Stephenson,Collingwood Magpies,Nathan Buckley,Daniel Wells,Jamie Elliott,Alex Fasolo
Jaidyn Stephenson will make his debut for the Magpies on Saturday
You're unlikely to see him in the first couple of weeks of the season
Nathan Buckley on Jamie Elliott

FIRST-ROUND draft pick Jaidyn Stephenson and former Swans rookie Sam Murray will debut for Collingwood on Saturday night, but Jamie Elliott won't appear at any level this weekend as he continues to build fitness.

Stephenson and Murray were told on Tuesday they would line up against Hawthorn in the Magpies' season opener at the MCG after joining the club in the off-season.

Elliott – who has endured an interrupted pre-season after November ankle surgery – needs more time running before he takes part in any form of match practice.

However, coach Nathan Buckley denied on Tuesday the 25-year-old had suffered a setback.

"He's gradually built up," Buckley said.

"The surgery he (Elliott) had in the off-season was unfortunate with his ankle not coming good over the break and then having to go in late last year. It was a significant surgery that needed to take place.

"He's missed a fair bit of load so we just need to make sure we build him back gradually to take away the risk of soft tissue (problems).

"You're unlikely to see him in the first couple of weeks of the season."

Veteran Daniel Wells and forward Alex Fasolo will line up in Friday's VFL practice match with Box Hill, but Jordan De Goey (hamstring) and Levi Greenwood (knee) remain a few weeks away from ramping up their training.

Buckley said Wells could have potentially faced the Hawks but would instead be one of 17 AFL-listed players to take part in Friday's practice match as he gathers conditioning.

However, he said Fasolo – who played in a VFL intraclub earlier this month after December shoulder surgery – had a "little bit of work to do".

"He's got to work on getting that intensity up in match practice to put his hand up for a role in the senior side," Buckley said.

Greenwood is taking the longest of the rehabilitation group to heal from his knee injury, which required surgery in December.

Complications have left the 119-game midfielder behind where he was expected to be at this stage, and now looking at a round four or five start.

Midfielder James Aish, who missed both JLT Community Series matches with a calf strain, tentatively tested out his leg in a brief running drill after training on Tuesday.

It's unknown if he's been slated to play in the VFL practice match against Box Hill.

Meanwhile, De Goey has started running after returning to the club on Monday following his month-long club suspension for his February drink driving incident.

Amongst other sanctions, the 22-year-old was sent away from the club for at least four weeks, with his only contact with the club's leaders during that time organised through their leadership and culture manager Nick Maxwell.

"We didn't kick him to the curb," Buckley said.

"He's back in the fold and suitably chastened and the leaders were satisfied with the way he attacked that month.

"With his hammy he's still another one or two away from playing matches.

"He's not in full training yet. That will be a wait and see … but he's back in and getting fit as soon as he can."