Collingwood defender Jeremy Howe feels he can play in the JLT Community Series, despite still experiencing calf issues.
The 27-year-old Magpie has been restricted during pre-season training due to calf soreness. Howe, who this week signed a three-year contract extension, said his calf remained "a little bit grumbly" from the club's training camp on the Gold Coast.
"I was progressing quite well and didn't have an episode, but just pulled up sore," he added. "At this time of year, it's not really worth trying to push through sore, I may as well get it right and get back into full training, because the games are coming around quickly."
He still has nearly a month to regain fitness for the Magpies' first pre-season game against Greater Western Sydney on 1st March.
"I'm trying to build the blocks up to get back into full training; the match sim has ramped right up so I need to get back in as soon as I can," Howe added. "Our first JLT isn't for another four weeks and the second is five, so I think I'll be well and truly fit and firing and ready for that."
Howe, who joined from Melbourne ahead of the 2016 season, has re-signed for the Magpies until the end of 2021.
Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh said of him: "Jeremy is in a strong position to play an important role in the club's success in the future. We're looking forward to his contribution over the next four years."
The Magpies are 23/20 to win their round one clash with Hawthorn, who are 3/4.
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