STEELE Sidebottom will replace Scott Pendlebury as Collingwood captain against West Coast on Saturday before the top job is rotated for the remainder of the season. 

Pendlebury will sit out the rest of the campaign with a fractured leg he sustained against Port Adelaide last week in what could prove to be his last match as skipper. 

The gun veteran is poised to sign a one-year extension for 2022, however has previously flagged the prospect of finishing his career without the title as captain. 

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Sidebottom and his fellow vice-captains Taylor Adams and Jeremy Howe, who will play his first game since round five, will share the mantle for the final three matches after this weekend. 

The high-flying defender first injured his hamstring against the Eagles in Perth before he was sent for surgery to remove scar tissue in the hamstring that was aggravated while pushing for a return in May. 

Interim coach Robert Harvey defended the decision to play Howe for the last month of the season with the Pies out of finals contention. 

"From his point of view, he really is a great leader so he wants to get back and help this group with four games to go, he feels he can really help that," Harvey said on Thursday.

"I think for his own peace of mind and going into next year he wants to get some games under his belt for his own confidence and his body. 

"He's been ready to go for three weeks now, he would say. He's been banging the door down pretty much for the last couple to get in. I think it'll be good peace of mind for a guy who's played very little footy over the last two years."

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Massive Magpie blow as Howe helped off

The Pies have been dealt a serious injury concern with Jeremy Howe leaving the field after landing awkwardly in this contest

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Harvey said Will Hoskin-Ellliott (back), Josh Thomas (concussion) and Chris Mayne (ankle) all trained strongly on Thursday morning with a decision on whether they were recalled to be made later in the afternoon. 

Next Generation Academy product Reef McInnes is unlikely to win a debut this week, however Harvey indicated he was in the frame for an opportunity before the end the season. 

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Harvey, who replaced Nathan Buckley in the caretaker role in round 15, said he hadn't progressed in any meaningful talks with Pies head of football Graham Wright about throwing his hand up for the permanent vacancy. 

Richmond assistant Adam Kingsley is the latest name to emerge in the race that also includes Don Pyke, Brad Scott and Michael Voss.