Collingwood will be without Taylor Adams for next weekend's AFL preliminary final after the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury at training on Friday. Adams left the training track after an innocuous incident with teammate John Noble and didn't return, sparking fears about his fitness.
On Saturday, Collingwood revealed that Adams won't play in the prelim. "It's unfortunate to confirm that Taylor Adams has sustained a low-grade hamstring strain during our training session held yesterday evening,” General Manager of Football Graham Wright said.
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“Taylor has been an integral part of our midfield this season, and while it's disappointing for him and the team that he won't be available for the upcoming preliminary final, the positive is that it is only a minor strain. Our medical staff are working closely with Taylor who will immediately commence rehabilitation on his left hamstring.”
Wright said the club would provide further updates on Adams over the coming. His availability for a potential grand final appearance remains up in the air, and the injury comes as another bitter blow for the 29-year-old.
Adams suffered a groin injury in the qualifying final last year and missed the qualifying final as a result. He had enjoyed an injury-free season in 2023 until Friday's incident.
Collingwood fans left devastated for Taylor Adams
Adams' absence will be offset by the likely return of young gun Nick Daicos, who hasn't played since round 21 when he suffered a fractured knee. The 20-year-old has gradually been building towards a return and hit the training track solo this week.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae admitted Daicos would have been underdone if the Pies had a game this week, but the 20-year-old is firming for a return next weekend after a week off. "Probably would have played (this week), he's progressing really well, but now he gets another week of training and loading and whatever that looks like," McRae said.
"He said it was the worst two hours of his life watching the game. But he's a great player. So any time you can welcome back your best players...you saw what happened we bring Darcy Moore and all of a sudden someone else falls in line. He's certainly going to be a valuable player when he comes back in a couple of weeks."
Daicos' brother Josh said is confident Nick will hit the ground running when he returns. Nick averaged 31 disposals and kicked 18 goals before his injury in August.
"He's just been super professional with his his rehab and obviously wants to come back so bad,' Josh told AAP. "It's the best time of the year, finals. He was very optimistic about it and attacked rehab. So yeah, he'll be ready to go."
— Corbin Middlemas (@CorbinMiddlemas) September 16, 2023
— JAKE 🇦🇺 (@IncrediblyBozza) September 16, 2023
Devastating. He will play GF
— Katherine Deves Fan Club. (@katherinedeves_) September 16, 2023
I feel for Taylor Adams, poor guy. We will miss him, if we make the GF I’m sure we will do everything he can to be back fit for the big dance. #gopies
— Damian Fasciani (@Damian_fasciani) September 16, 2023
Low grade tear, so still some chance if we make it to the grand final, but he’d be up against it.
— Shmick ‘23 🇦🇺 (@ShmickThird) September 16, 2023
Taylor Adams can’t take a break 😭💔
⦿ Rd 20, 2022: strains his groin
⤷ QF 2022: returns & tears groin off the bone with 10 mins left in 4th QTR. Misses remainder of finals series
⦿ Training before 2023 Prelim: hamstring strain, could miss rest of the season pic.twitter.com/qNMVHq6Zwo
— Liam Glover (@liamgloverr) September 16, 2023
Taylor Adams is a legitimate big loss for Collingwood. He'll be sorely missed if Collingwood make the #AFLGF and he isn't fit to play.
Easy to forget he probably wins the Norm Smith medal in 2018 if the Pies win. He was immense. Big game player.
— Todd Davey (@ToddJDavey) September 16, 2023
Darcy Moore at centre of Collingwood injury cloud
Josh Daicos also dismissed any concerns over captain Darcy Moore, whose right hand and wrist have been put in a cast this week. Moore's plaster cast is precautionary to protect a tendon problem. "It's an injury he has been managing for a while now and obviously hasn't affected his play or the way he has been performing," Josh Daicos told reporters on Thursday.
The Pies will also have Brayden Maynard at their disposal after he was cleared by the AFL tribunal over his hit that knocked out Angus Brayshaw. "First and foremost are thoughts were always with Angus and obviously it's not nice to see, especially with his history (of concussions) so we're wishing him a speedy recovery," Daicos said.
"We know that Brayden is a really fair player and we were quite happy with the decision, knowing his intentions are always pure... The game we play, the intensity, especially in finals, accidents do happen on the field.
"He (Maynard) brings so much energy to the group, his impact is enormous on game day. He is obviously really competitive on the field ... but off the field he's a big teddy bear, he is so caring to all of us boys and he's the first to reach out, so we're really happy to have him for the prelim."
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