Pies lose Mihocek, Ginnivan for Lions game

Oliver Caffrey |

Brody Mihocek will miss Collingwood’s AFL game at Brisbane as a COVID-19 close contact.
Brody Mihocek will miss Collingwood’s AFL game at Brisbane as a COVID-19 close contact.

Collingwood’s AFL forward stocks are set to receive a major test with Brody Mihocek and Jack Ginnivan joining Jamie Elliott on the sidelines.

The Magpies will head to Brisbane for Thursday night’s clash with the premiership-contending Lions missing three of their most important goalkickers.

After Elliott suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday’s tough loss against West Coast, Mihocek (COVID-19 close contact) and Ginnivan (soreness) have also been ruled out of the round-five game at the Gabba.

But Collingwood should regain important midfielder Taylor Adams after he tested positive for coronavirus and missed the Eagles match.

Magpies coach Craig McRae will likely resist the temptation of swapping Jordan De Goey into a permanent forward spot to replace Elliott.

“Jordy is a handy in and he’ll play a bit of mid-time and forward,” McRae said.

“We’re going to have to get a bit creative with our forward line with Jamie and ‘Checkers’ (Mihocek) out.

“Jamie’s in good spirits. He had an operation and gets out of hospital today so I think the surgery went well.

“He’s optimistic he’ll be back shorter than (the 12 weeks) originally thought.

“He’s such an important part of what we do and we care deeply for him.

“He’ll be sorely missed but we have to move on.

“I love the kid because I coached him here as a boy and I have a great relationship with him, he’s so integral to what we’re doing.”

The Magpies could opt to bring back tall forward Mason Cox with recruit Nathan Kreuger also a chance to return from a shoulder injury.

Facing the Lions on their home deck has once again become one of the AFL’s toughest away trips after their rise up the ladder in recent seasons.

The Magpies started the season with promising victories over St Kilda and Adelaide but have suffered successive disappointing defeats to Geelong and West Coast when they were in strong positions to win both of those games.