Collingwood Magpie Nick Daicos sailing smoothly for AFL prelim final

Collingwood playmaker Nick Daicos’ preparation to return from a six-week absence for a preliminary final is tracking smoothly, his brother and teammate Josh Daicos says.

And Josh Daicos is also dismissing any concern over captain Darcy Moore, whose right hand and wrist has been put in a cast ahead of the Magpies’ next final.

Moore’s plaster cast is precautionary to protect a tendon problem.

“It’s an injury he has been managing for a while now and obviously hasn’t affected his play or the way he has been performing,” Josh Daicos told reporters on Thursday.

Daicos said his younger brother Nick, sidelined since hurting a knee during an August 5 game, was a near certainty to return for the Pies’ clash against the winner of Saturday night’s semi-final between Port Adelaide and GWS.

“He is actually pumped to be back running … I think he really took for granted just how good it is to be healthy and be a part of the group,” Daicos said of his brother.

“He has done everything possible to put himself in the position to play so hopefully, fingers-crossed, he’s playing next week.

“It has definitely been tough for him, he loves being a part of the group … he is doing everything possible and he’s running really strong at the moment.”

Collingwood were also collectively relieved at defender Brayden Maynard being cleared of a rough conduct charge after a controversial collision which knocked out Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw in their qualifying final.

“First and foremost are thoughts were always with Angus and obviously it’s not nice to see, especially with his history (of concussions) so we’re wishing him a speedy recovery,” Daicos said.

“We know that Brayden is a really fair player and we were quite happy with the decision, knowing his intentions are always pure.

“… The game we play, the intensity, especially in finals, accidents do happen on the field.

“He (Maynard) brings so much energy to the group, his impact is enormous on game day.

“He is obviously really competitive on the field … but off the field he’s a big teddy bear, he is so caring to all of us boys and he’s the first to reach out, so we’re really happy to have him for the prelim.”

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