COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley said the club's mid-season catch-up with Western Bulldogs' midfielder Lin Jong was overblown, with the 23-year-old set to take the field for the Bulldogs against the Magpies on Friday night for the first time since the encounter.
It will be Jong's first senior game against Collingwood in his 35 game-career, with Buckley keen to move on from July's headline-grabbing story.
"He is playing an even more important role now isn't he, given a couple of their midfielders are out," Buckley said.
"Clearly we have a high regard for him as a footballer as much as we do for the Bulldogs as a club."
The midfielder will be trying to help the Bulldogs reach the top four with a win over a Collingwood line-up that is likely to be without its skipper Scott Pendlebury.
Pendlebury is struggling to overcome an ankle injury in time to play the Western Bulldogs on Friday night, but he is yet to be ruled out of the game.
Buckley said Pendlebury would miss Tuesday's training session but may train on Thursday depending on how he recovers.
He said the 28-year-old was a resilient player who often performed with injuries, so a decision on his availability would not be made until the last minute.
"'Pendles' (Pendlebury) is a tough competitor," Buckley said.
"He's battling with that ankle injury but we'll give him every chance."
Buckley said no risks would be taken with key forward Darcy Moore who missed last week's game with a hamstring injury.
When asked the likelihood of the 20-year-old taking the field against the Western Bulldogs, Buckley played his cards close to his chest.
"He's probably 51/49, and I won't tell you which way," Buckley joked.
Collingwood put in its worst performance since the bye on Friday night against Richmond, with Buckley bemoaning the lack of defensive pressure that allowed the Tigers to record 310 uncontested possessions and 145 marks.
He said falling short of expectations for the third season in a row created pressure felt right throughout the football club.
"[Season] 2016 wasn't to be and we have had a couple of hard, tough years as a footy club, but we feel like we are starting to understand the blokes who can and the blokes who can't [perform] and we will keep making decisions around that," Buckley said.