COLLINGWOOD key defender Jordan Roughead remains at least a fortnight away from returning from a finger injury that was initially expected to only rule him out for a couple of games.
The 31-year-old required surgery to repair his finger following an incident against Brisbane in his return game at the Gabba in round five.
AFL.com.au understands Roughead hasn’t suffered a setback, his finger is just taking longer than first expected to heal with the former Western Bulldog yet to resume full training.
Roughead has met with specialists regularly across the past few weeks, but is not yet ready to start grappling and tackling.
The high performance department needs Roughead to regain strength in his finger in the gym before he can resume contact training. From there, they need him to train for a full week before he is cleared to play.
Roughead has experienced a frustrating season at the AIA Centre, managing only one senior appearance across the first eight rounds.
The out-of-contract backman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in February and missed the tail end of the pre-season, as well as the first month of the season.
Collingwood has been exposed down back at different times over the past two months, none more so than on the weekend when Richmond star Tom Lynch kicked five first half goals on All-Australian defender Darcy Moore, before finishing the game with six on the board to move clear of Tom Hawkins in the Coleman Medal race.
With Roughead and mature-age recruit Charlie Dean missing due to injury, and Mark Keane returning to Ireland, Craig McRae's backline has been undersized and undermanned.
Dean, 20, is closing in a return after running for the first time in nine weeks last week after suffering a stress fracture in his foot on the eve of the season.
The reigning Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal winner was met with a big cheer on the track when he was cleared to start running last Thursday, but is still at least six weeks away.
Young gun Isaac Quaynor has been cleared to face the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Friday night after dislocating his finger in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to Richmond.
The 22-year-old finished the game on the bench but scans have cleared Quaynor of damage.
Star forward Jamie Elliott could be back in action within the next three weeks as he continues to make a swift recovery from shoulder surgery.
The 29-year-old hasn’t played since copping a big hit against West Coast in round four, but is set to resume contact training later this week.
Tom Wilson may not be seen again in 2022 after undergoing a microdiscectomy late last week to relieve pressure on a bulging disc in his back.
The basketball convert isn’t expected to be able to play within the next three to four months.