A TIMEFRAME for Collingwood defender Tom Langdon's return from a serious knee injury is yet to be determined.
Langdon has not played since round nine last year.
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley told AFL.com.au on Thursday the 25-year-old backman had been constantly analysing his setback.
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"The outcome there is still not clear on what his body is going to allow him to do," Buckley said.
"And, you know, when you've gone along the track – I think it is round eight was the last game that he played – that's not been a short amount of time.
"So we need a fair bit to go his way, but we're not giving up on it and neither is he, clearly, because he loves playing. He loves being involved in the group as well."
Asked if Langdon's injury had become so problematic that it had compelled him to consider retirement, Buckley said:
"Well, that's been part of the discussion and even Tom himself working it out, with the revelation of Dermie (Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton, now battling with a serious back ailment), and his back and the rigours that you put your body through in a professional existence and what that actually leaves you.
"What are the remnants of your professional career that actually stay with you for the rest of your life?
"So I think, given all of those discussions and possible repercussions and realities, you know, we're still going down the path because we feel, on balance, that Langers can still get back and play the game he loves, in an environment that he loves.
"So that's our endeavour and we're working towards that."
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Langdon's form in the opening nine matches of last year continued an excellent impactful stretch of performances that saw him emerge as a key component of Collingwood's 2018 season, which ended when the Pies lost the Grand Final to West Coast by five points.
But the chronic cartilage damage to his right knee failed to heal from rest, prompting a decision to have season-ending surgery.
"Langers has come out and has done a few runs outside, he's working through that knee," Buckley said.
"And it's a very challenging position for a young professional to be in, especially a guy who's shown that he's more than capable at the level – some of his performances over the last couple of years have been exceptional, especially in big games.
"He's a balanced kid, Langers. He doesn't have all his eggs in one basket, so he's been a sort of been able to manage himself through this process."