Jamie Elliott on cusp of AFL return after retirement concerns around Collingwood champion

Fans have reacted with delight over the latest update on the injured Magpies midfielder.

Collingwood have revealed Jamie Elliott is a chance to make his return against Geelong on Friday night, delighting AFL fans after there were fears he might never play again. Elliott hasn't played since Round 8 due to a vascular issue in his foot, and leading journalist Tom Morris reported last month there were concerns he would be forced into retirement.

Collingwood later played down those concerns, and on Monday the club revealed the 31-year-old is on the verge of making a return. Elliott is a chance to play against Geelong on Friday night, but will need to get through training this week before a call is made.

"Jamie Elliott has progressed well through his recovery from a vascular issue," the club said in an update. "Over a three-week block of training, he has increased his running loads and has been cleared to start full contact training. Elliott will need to complete training on Wednesday to determine his availability for Friday night’s match."

Jamie Elliott, pictured here with his sister and mum after the AFL grand final in 2023.
Jamie Elliott with his sister and mum after winning the premiership with Collingwood in 2023. Image: Getty/Instagram

Speaking last month, Collingwood fitness boss Jarrod Wade said: “Some of the follow-up testing he has had for the vascular issue has shown us that the issue has resolved or is almost getting to the point of getting 95 per cent resolved. We know that now he has had a long lay off and he has not been able to run for the past five or six weeks he will now need a block of work.”

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That came after Morris said there were concerns the premiership player would be forced into retirement. “No one can really say when Jamie Elliott will be back from the vascular issue. It could be career-threatening. No one can tell me when he’s going to be back," Morris said.

"This (injury) started as 2-4 weeks, according to Collingwood, now it’s TBC (to be confirmed). There’s two elements - one is when is he going to be fit to play? And two - does he have the will to get back and desperately want to play again?”

Jamie Elliott, pictured here at a Collingwood training session.
Jamie Elliott at a Collingwood training session. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Former Collingwood player and coach Nathan Buckley revealed Elliott wasn't getting enough blood flow to his foot and it was leaving it black during games. “The only thing I know about his injury is that he was coming off for a couple of weeks midway through a second quarter and couldn’t feel his foot,” Buckley said on SEN radio. “He’d take his boot off and it (his foot) was black. That’s a concern, you know something’s not right. They were able to find the vascular issue, which is basically blood flow into and out of his foot.

“He has had long-term injuries at different stages of his career and he’s withstood a great deal, he’s gone through that and become a premiership player. He missed seasons on end at times at different stages. He’s been here before and he’s dug himself out, of it. That would be the only concern: ‘Is this something I can dig myself out of?’. Only time will tell with that, they need a bit more time than they’ve had.”

Elliott's return would provide a huge boost for Collingwood, who have been rocked by a number of injuries. The premiers are sitting ninth on the ladder and lost Brody Mihocek for the rest of the season last weekend.

Key players in Darcy Moore and Jordan De Goey have been down on form, while Mason Cox and Tom Mitchell have also been out injured. Asked if Collingwood could still bring everything together to contend for a second consecutive premiership, Jeremy Howe said on Monday: "Absolutely.

"I feel like we had a really slow start and we got some things right, especially going up into that Easter Thursday against Brisbane and it felt like we kind of kicked our season off from there. Potentially we've got to go back to our fundamentals and understand - we know what works, it's just a matter of doing it for long enough."