Collingwood defender Jeremy Howe wants to play in next month’s JLT Community Series, despite a calf complaint that has restricted him during the Magpies’ summer training program.
Howe, who this week signed a three-year contract extension, remains on a modified program because of soreness in his calf.
“It was a little bit grumbly last week from the Gold Coast,” Howe said on Monday.
“I was progressing quite well and didn’t have an episode, but just pulled up sore.
“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.”
Howe, 27, remains optimistic he’ll be ready for the Pies’ first official pre-season game against Greater Western Sydney on 1 March, or their following clash with the Western Bulldogs on 10 March.
“I’m trying to build the blocks up to get back into full training,” he said.
“Obviously the match sim has ramped right up so I need to get back in as soon as I can.
Jeremy Howe hopes to be fit to represent Collingwood in the JLT Community Series next month.
“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.”
The Pies have a few players aiming for JLT action after interrupted pre-seasons, including Jamie Elliott, Levi Greenwood and Alex Fasolo.
Young gun Darcy Moore, who recently joined Howe in the backline after starting his career at Collingwood in attack, has recently been on limited duties.
But Howe said things weren’t as bleak as they seemed with those on the injury list expected to be ready for the season.
“We’ve got a few, and ideally we’d like them to be out there,” he said.
“In saying that, I think everyone is progressing quite well.
“Darcy going into a new role, you’d like him to be in full training all the time, but he’s progressing well and I don’t think there’s any real concern for the start of the season.”
Howe, who joined the Magpies from Melbourne ahead of the 2016 season, has now committed until the end of 2021.
With a growing stature at the Holden Centre, Howe has been selected in the club’s leadership group for the past two seasons and the former Demon shapes as a key player as the Magpies seek to return to the finals in 2018.
“Jeremy is in a strong position to play an important role in the club’s success in the future,” General Manager of Football Geoff Walsh said in a statement on Collingwood Media.
“We’re looking forward to his contribution over the next four years.”
Howe joins a host of Magpies locked in to long-term deals, with teammates Adam Treloar and Steele Sidebottom also signed until 2021.
Our players have spent time with the patients in the dialysis ward at Latrobe Regional Hospital. The newly contracted @howie0038 has made one patient’s day, presenting Jason, a Pies fanatic, a personalised 2018 jumper #FOREVER pic.twitter.com/9jefDc5MRQ
— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) February 5, 2018
Source: Collingwood FC’s website