Collingwood midfield star Taylor Adams will resume running this Friday having “had a sook” over the groin injury which he’s adamant won’t keep him out of this year’s finals.
Adams was subbed out of the Magpies’ six-point win over Port Adelaide at half-time last Saturday and subsequent scans confirmed he suffered a groin strain.
The 28-year-old said on Tuesday he was extremely disappointed when the initial prognosis was delivered with the Magpies on a 10-game winning streak and a chance to finish in the top four under first-year coach Craig McRae.
But he quickly focused on the “silver lining” which was the chance to return in time for the first final, aided by the pre-finals bye which should give him enough time to be ready to play.
“I’ve got all the sooking out of my system. It could be better but it could be far worse,” Adams told RSN.
“I’m seeing the silver lining. I will start running again on Friday and that will give me a really good lead in to make sure that I come back fit and strong and able to sustain a full game.
“You have to shift your mindset from a situation that’s not ideal to turning it into something which is really positive. I’ve been in this situation before .. you can either sook about it for four or five days or you can get over it and put a plan in place and get back to work.
“I’m in that headspace at the moment and I’m confident if I put the work in I’ll be right. I’ve got a plan in place now and I’ll get to work and get ready to come back.”
Adams had until now played every game this season bar two, missing the round 4 defeat to West Coast while in the AFL’s Covid protocols then sitting out the narrow round 18 win over Adelaide because of a concussion.
He is first at the club for contested possessions this season, second in tackles and inside 50s, third in groundball-gets and sixth in disposals, so he is a significant loss for Craig McRae’s team at a crucial juncture.
The Magpies have won 10 matches in a row, including seven by single-digit margins, to move into third place on the ladder with reigning premier Melbourne, in-form Sydney and Carlton to come.
Only eighth-placed St Kilda, which has three fewer victories, has a worse percentage than Collingwood’s 106.2, so it will likely need to win at least twice in the final three rounds to maintain a top-four spot.
There are reinforcements on the way, with Brodie Grundy (knee) successfully negotiating his VFL comeback on Saturday, while McRae said after the Power victory that he expected Brody Mihocek (hip) to be available.
The coach stopped short of guaranteeing Grundy’s return but he played almost a full match while amassing 11 disposals, 21 hit-outs and eight tackles.
Mason Cox will be the player to make way if Grundy is recalled, unless Mihocek fails to prove his fitness.
Defender Jeremy Howe (corked buttock) sat out most of the last quarter at the weekend but should be fine for Friday night’s clash with his old side the Demons.