Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is adamant Brodie Grundy isn't carrying an injury despite benching the star ruckman for key moments of Saturday night's elimination final win over West Coast.
Grundy was the premier ruckman of the competition last year and was duly rewarded with All-Australian honours, but question marks have been raised over his fitness this season after a drop in output.
In the one-point elimination final win over the Eagles, Grundy was benched at the start of the third and fourth quarters.
That left 10-gamer Darcy Cameron to battle the might of Nic Naitanui in the crucial centre bounces.
And when the Eagles kicked two late goals to close the gap to one point with just 77 seconds remaining in the match, Cameron was again the go-to man for the final centre bounce.
Naitanui finished the match with 17 disposals, 24 hitouts, and seven clearances in a dominant display, helping West Coast boot five goals from centre clearances.
Grundy tallied 12 disposals, 19 hitouts, and two clearances, while Cameron finished with seven disposals and nine hitouts.
Buckley said his use of Cameron in significant moments was tactical, and was adamant that Grundy isn't carrying an injury.
"I've heard that, but he's fully fit and has been all year," Buckley said.
"He's cherry ripe to attack next week and whatever is beyond that.
"Brodie is a team man. He is prepared to do whatever it takes for the team to come together and perform.
"He's always had high expectations of himself and elite performers will always set high bars for themselves. And that sometimes can be debilitating.
"But Brodie thrives on it."
Collingwood's win over West Coast has set up a semi-final date with Geelong at the Gabba on Saturday night.
The Cats' defenders will be on guard after Collingwood big man Mason Cox tore West Coast to shreds in the opening term.
Cox clunked three contested marks and kicked truly each time to give the Magpies the early momentum.
The American was dropped earlier this season after a poor run of form, but he looms as a major wildcard during the finals.
Buckley was also thrilled with the display of forward Brody Mihocek, who booted two final-quarter goals and also took an important mark in defence.
"Our forward line has been maligned, we haven't been able to hit the scoreboard as much this year," Buckley said.
"Scoring in general is down 25 per cent from last year, and we're about 30 per cent down on ours.
"So that has been problematic, but it hasn't been for lack of supply.
"We've made a few tweaks and we think that we're going to provide some better alternatives for our forwards, and they came to the party tonight. The contest was good."