Andrew Krakouer
Andrew Krakouer

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is toying with the idea of bringing in forgotten forward Andrew Krakouer for Saturday night's top four showdown with the Eagles in Perth.

Krakouer hasn't played AFL since last year's grand final against Geelong due to a knee injury sustained while playing for Collingwood's VFL team during the pre-season.

But Krakouer has impressed in three matches back in the VFL and Buckley said the 29-year-old was among a group of players vying for selection against the Eagles.

"It has been remarkable," Buckley said when asked about Krakouer's recovery from injury.

"He has been performing really well (in the VFL) and he is on an upward trend.

"So we look forward to seeing that continue."

Buckley said fellow long-term victim Ben Johnson was also a chance to face the Eagles, while Tyson Goldsack (ankle), Nick Maxwell (hip) and Alan Toovey (thigh) would all be tested closer to the match.

The rookie coach was coy when asked about the fitness concerns facing big man Darren Jolly and veteran defender Heath Shaw, but admitted the duo did were battling various niggles.

Shaw was seen being tested away from the main group at training on Wednesday, while star midfielder Scott Pendlebury sent a shock through the Collingwood camp when he went down clutching his knee during the same session.

Pendlebury took a knock to his right knee and remained on the ground for several minutes, but Buckley said the 24-year-old has shaken it off and would be fit to play on the weekend.

"He had a knock on the knee, rubbed it better, got the happy spray on it and it was fine after that," Buckley said.

While there are various fitness issues facing the Pies this week, the form of key forwards Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes is also a concern for the club.

Buckley admitted the duo were playing well below their best, but said there were plenty of other players at the club not at their peak.

"I don't think we should be under any illusions that they are both not at peak form," he said.

"They would understand that individually they are both off their best.

"At various stages over the past month we have seen it in patches, but it is just about them putting it together for four quarters.

"But they are not Robinson Crusoe in that regard as we have got plenty of players that need to lift their performance on last week.

"There has been a lot of focus on a couple of players, but I think the whole team needs to take a bit of responsibility."

Collingwood head to Perth on the back of nine straight victories outside of Victoria, but need to take that streak into double figures if they want to ensure a top-four finish at the end of the season.

But Buckley is not concerned by final ladder positions and said he just wants his side to bounce back from their poor performance against North Melbourne last round.

"The biggest motivator for us is to remedy our own performance from last week," Buckley said.

"While our opposition were very good, there were a lot of areas we thought we were poor in.

"We just need to play our best footy and the result will look after itself and beyond that the ladder position will look after itself."


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