The seasons of at least three Collingwood players appear over after the 67-point loss to Brisbane, with the Magpies facing an uphill battle to play finals.
Collingwood’s Saturday night MCG injury nightmare has significant ramifications for the rest of their season.
The Magpies lost five key players between the naming of teams and three-quarter time of their 67-point belting by Brisbane.
Jamie Elliot (hamstring) before the game, Scott Pendlebury (quad) in the warm-up, Ben Reid (hamstring) five minutes in, and Travis Cloke (ankle) and Dayne Beams (knee) either side of half-time all fell victim to injury.
Now it appears that for at least three players – if not the club – it’s season over.
After the match, coach Nathan Buckley said Beams’ early diagnosis was a PCL – which can require a 10-week recovery.
A hamstring could rule out injury-prone Reid for four weeks, while on Sunday Collingwood football director Rodney Eade told Triple M Cloke’s season was over.
“I think it’s called syndesmosis…,” Eade said.
“If we were in the season it could’ve even been 6-8 (weeks), so yeah he’s certainly gone.”
It’s hard to imagine a tougher night at the office for the Magpies, or any other club.
“I have been in the caper 20 years now, as a player and coach, and I can’t remember a night like it,” Buckley said.
“There are things outside of our control… but you don’t anticipate to get dealt a hand that we got dealt this evening.
“We were the ones that broke tonight physically.
“I reckon we held on mentally for a while but by the end you are pushing the proverbial up hill with a pointy stick and it was tough going.
“It’s a snapshot of our whole season because too much has been left to too few, too often, due to not having available personnel.”
In his control or otherwise, Collingwood’s season has unravelled.
After their Queen’s Birthday defeat of Melbourne, the Magpies were fourth with an 8-3 record.
Just two wins in nine games later, Collingwood must now face missing the finals for the first time since 2005.
With matches against GWS and Hawthorn remaining, Buckley isn’t giving up on the fight just yet.
“When I say we’re still not out of it, I mean it because we can still win our last two games,” he said.
“We’re not going to just crawl meekly into the corner and not compete.”