Howe eyes 2020 AFL return from knee injury

Shayne Hope
Scans have confirmed Collingwood AFL player Jeremy Howe has ruptured a posterior cruciate ligament

Jeremy Howe is hopeful of making an AFL return this season after suffering a serious knee injury in Collingwood's loss to Greater Western Sydney.

Scans on Saturday confirmed the star defender ruptured the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Friday night when it bent awkwardly in a collision with Giants midfielder Jacob Hopper.

Howe also sustained medial ligament damage in the same knee.

He will see a specialist on Monday to determine the best method of recovery, with surgery an option.

Howe maintained a positive outlook when he spoke to reporters on Saturday at Melbourne airport.

"There is plenty of time left in the season so I am not ruling it out," Howe said of a return to action in 2020.

"I'm backing the boys and I will still play a role throughout the season, no doubt, and hopefully play a role at the business end."

Howe, turning 30 on Monday, said he had not watched vision of his knee giving way under the weight of Hopper, but had seen a still photo of the incident.

"My leg probably wasn't in the most great position but it is what it is, so I'll move on and deal with it and rehab accordingly and hopefully get back," Howe said.

Howe has barely missed a match since crossing to Collingwood from Melbourne ahead of the 2016 season.

The 186-game defender was equally as durable during his time at the Demons.

"I have been fortunate over 10 years to have minimal injuries so you get them at times and unfortunately it is my time now," Howe said.

"But the boys will continue to play the way they play and I will be there supporting them 100 per cent."

Howe's injury opens the door for a string of teammates, including Lynden Dunn, Isaac Quaynor, Matt Scharenburg and Jack Madgen.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley conceded Howe was a big loss.

"He's been great; he's a great leader; a great player. I'm devastated for him - he puts a lot into his footy. He invests all of himself into it," Buckley said after the loss to GWS.

"You are going to lose people as you go along through a season at different times and we will have to cover, and we will."

Collingwood are scheduled to meet Essendon and Brisbane over the next fortnight at the MCG before heading to Western Australia for three matches in a hub.