Collingwood rule out injury-prone Wells

Michael Ramsey
Veteran Collingwood midfielder Daniel Wells will miss Friday's AFL match with Western Bulldogs

Collingwood have ruled out Daniel Wells for Friday night's clash with the Western Bulldogs, opting to rest the 33-year-old just two games into his AFL return.

The classy midfielder was a notable absentee as the Magpies hit the training track on Wednesday, having gathered 16 disposals and two goals during Saturday night's win over St Kilda.

Coach Nathan Buckley said the Magpies had always been planning to manage the classy midfielder, who missed the start of the season with an achilles issue.

"The plan was (for him) to play the two, miss this week and play another two into the (round 13) bye, best-case scenario," Buckley told reporters.

"He's given us exactly what we needed and what we thought we would get in those first couple of weeks, so his long-term plan to get him right for the second half of the year is on schedule at the moment.

"It's a six-day break, back-to-back Etihad (Stadium), third game back at AFL level ... there's plenty of circumstances that would indicate that it's a prudent decision."

Buckley added that it was too early to tell whether Wells would be rested again later in the year.

Wells joined Collingwood from North Melbourne at the end of 2016 on a lucrative three-year deal but has been hampered by calf, hamstring and achilles injuries which have restricted him to just 12 games in Magpies colours.

Goalsneak Alex Fasolo joined Collingwood's growing injury list on Saturday night, succumbing to an ankle syndesmosis issue which will sideline him for at least seven weeks.

Soft-tissue injuries have been a particular concern for the 10th-placed Magpies.

Darcy Moore, Jamie Elliott and Josh Smith each reinjured their troublesome hamstrings earlier this month, and the Magpies are yet to put a timeframe on the trio's return.

"The facts are that our soft-tissue stuff hasn't been optimal," Buckley said.

"It's largely come down to a few individuals. We've looked at their programs and we've modified some of the balance of it, some of the strength work and some of the physio work that we've been doing with them.

"It's probably a little bit too much to go into detail but it's just the balance of what they're doing to strengthen up and to return to play."