Former Rising Star winner Jaidyn Stephenson will be included in Collingwood’s AFL team after not featuring in the first two rounds.
After a betting scandal saw him outed for 10 games last year, a bout of glandular fever impacted the dynamite forward’s pre-season preparation.
But Magpies coach Nathan Buckley confirmed the exciting 21-year-old will return to face St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday.
“(Stephenson’s) definitely in our best mix when he’s up and about and I think he’s ready to go,” Buckley told reporters.
Stephenson will slot straight back into a forward line which kicked just five goals in last week’s draw against Richmond.
He will reignite a dangerous front-half combination with Jordan De Goey and Jamie Elliott.
Stephenson will be one of at least two inclusions, with midfielder Rupert Wills also earning a recall for his first game of the season.
“Rupe’s done extremely well, his last month’s been really strong. He was probably a little bit stiff to miss round one and was one of the players who came back in really good order off the isolation period,” Buckley said.
The Pies are sticking with Darcy Cameron as the second ruck-forward option behind All-Australian Brodie Grundy.
The former Sydney big man will keep out American Mason Cox for at least another week as he attempts to rebuild touch in reserves scratch matches.
“Coxy’s not far away; the hit-out last Wednesday was good for him,” Buckley said.
“It’s a challenge to manage at times for those boys that miss out, but it’s a good problem to have.”