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Magpies count the cost of gutsy win

Football

Collingwood’s hopes of continuing their mid-season surge have been dealt a triple blow after Daniel Wells, Tyson Goldsack, and Jamie Elliott were injured in yesterday’s 20-point win over Fremantle.

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Wells is set for another frustrating stint on the sidelines after injuring his left calf while taking off to sprint in the third quarter against Fremantle.

The 32-year-old has been blighted by calf issues since crossing to Collingwood as a free agent at the end of last year, and scans will determine the extent of his latest injury.

Elliott was carried off by two trainers after re-injuring his left ankle.

The 24-year-old had just booted three goals in the third quarter to highlight his importance, before a tangle of legs twisted his ankle in an awkward way.

Elliott missed the first three rounds of the season with an injury to the same ankle.

Goldsack (scapula) was at least able to play out the match, but his shoulder was so painful he could only lift one arm in the second half.

The 15.15 (105) to 12.13 (85) win over Fremantle was Collingwood’s third in a row, and further eased the pressure on coach Nathan Buckley.

It lifted Collingwood (5-6) to within one win of eighth-placed Fremantle.

But with the injuries piling up, Collingwood face a major challenge to topple Melbourne in the Queen’s Birthday clash next Monday at the MCG.

Collingwood forward Alex Fasolo, who missed the win over Fremantle after being given time off to deal with depression, is a chance to return against the Demons.

Buckley praised the fighting spirit of his group after they survived a Fremantle resurgence to secure their first win in Perth under him.

And he’s confident the belief gained from the past three weeks will continue to flow.

“I don’t know what comes first, the belief or the wins. The chicken or the egg,” Buckley said.

“A game like that when we had to stand up – we spoke about making a statement to each other, rather than anything externally.

“It’s about how we wanted to go about it, and to a man I thought the players stood up.

“We’re still a really young group growing and developing… but we’re starting to make some headway.”

Meanwhile, Fremantle coach Ross Lyon concedes the club erred in bringing back emerging midfielder Ed Langdon for yesterday’s loss at home.

Langdon missed the previous week’s 100-point loss to Adelaide with a knee issue, but was brought straight back in against the Magpies.

However, the move backfired, with Langdon struggling to run out the match after feeling pain in his knee.

The 21-year-old finished with two goals from nine disposals, and Lyon said in hindsight the club probably should have given him another week on the sidelines.

“Could we have put in a more rigorous fitness test? Maybe,” Lyon said.

“We put some heat on him to try to finish the game strongly, but he was a bit distressed at the end.

-AAP

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