COLLINGWOOD has confirmed star playmaker Jamie Elliott will undergo shoulder surgery after he was injured in their upset loss to West Coast.
Elliott had been one of their best players on Saturday at Marvel Stadium when Jamaine Jones crunched him in a tackle early in the last quarter.
The club said he will go under the knife to repair his AC joint, which will likely be 12 weeks out.
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"He's going straight to hospital," McRae said post-match.
"It could be quite a serious injury. If he needs an operation, it could be 12 weeks.
"It's not a great result for us. He's a pivotal part of what we do and we care deeply for him."
With Collingwood losing Taylor Adams and Jordan De Goey for Saturday's game, Elliott spent more time in the midfield and was having a solid game when injured.
"It's massive – he's one of our forward leaders, an incredible pressure player," McRae said.
"The thing you don't see is the way he's leading our young players.
"It does leave a hole."
Elliott, 29, has played 140 games for the Magpies and twice led their goalkicking.
His injury added to a dirty day for Collingwood, who paid dearly for inaccurate goalkicking.
They dominated inside 50s 61-42 and had seven more scoring shots, but were overrun late for the second-successive week.
"We're just learning how to win – that's the reality of our group," McRae said.
"We're putting ourselves in positions to be able to get the job done.
"It's another week where all the numbers look really good, but we just don't get the result."
After a start to the season marred by injury to key players, and several more ruled out due to the AFL's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, West Coast coach Adam Simpson was thrilled his club had been rewarded for its persistence.
"It's really hard to bottle, spirit - what is it, how do you cultivate it, how do you keep it alive?" Simpson said.
"The intangibles in the game ... probably 85 per cent of everything we do is the same as every other club.
"That last 10-15 per cent, that's the special stuff.
"It sounds a bit fluffy, but it's really important."