Fringe Collingwood key-position player Quinten Lynch is ready to take advantage of injuries to Ben Reid and Jesse White if selected for the season opener against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium tomorrow night.
The Magpies have taken a no-risk policy on any players under a cloud and ruled out Reid and White, who both have calf injuries, before training yesterday.
Lynch, 31, is out of contract at the end of the season and faced enormous pressure from White after his impressive pre-season.
Lynch joined Collingwood from West Coast last season and played 18 games. However, he kicked only nine goals and missed the elimination final.
Lynch didn't play the club's last practice match but assistant coach Robert Harvey said he had performed well over summer and was ready to play.
"He's right in the mix. He's moving really well and he's barely missed a beat all pre-season," Harvey said.
"He's got his match fitness to where it needs to be and we know exactly what he gives us.
"I think he really adds a bit in the ruck. We've been really happy in the games where he's played the second ruck role.
"He's really strong body-on-body, particularly in stoppages."
The Magpies will be without at least seven of the 22 players who featured in last year's shock finals loss to Port Adelaide.
Alan Didak and Heath Shaw are no longer at the club, Marley Williams won't play as he prepares to be sentenced by a WA court and Reid, Paul Seedsman, Josh Thomas and Sam Dwyer are injured.
Alex Fasolo's lack of game time on his way back from a foot injury will also see him miss out.
Fourth-round draft pick Tom Langdon is expected to make his debut after a strong pre-season.
Collingwood won't waste time easing defender Alan Toovey back into the AFL. The West Australian is set to play on Hayden Ballantyne or Michael Walters.
Toovey hasn't played an AFL game since injuring his left knee on Anzac Day last year. But with Shaw at Greater Western Sydney and Williams unavailable, the club must find other options.
Walters kicked four goals from 19 possessions against Collingwood last year and earned three Brownlow Medal votes while Ballantyne booted one goal.
Ben Sinclair will play on one of the small forwards and Harvey said Toovey would be given several important jobs.
"We're absolutely thrilled to have him back," Harvey said.
"He's going to have a variety of different match-ups."