Injury-prone Magpie keen to stay
Jamie Elliott is determined to continue his career in black and white stripes despite injury concerns that Nathan Buckley concedes have him playing in "survival mode".
Despite calls for a full blown review the Pies insist there are no issues with their Holden Centre surface and have no plans for a formal investigation over and above end-of-year assessments.
Star midfielder Dayne Beams returned to the club on Monday after a mental health break, with the Pies not ruling out a VFL return in the coming weeks after hip surgery.
Elliott is one of the club's most injury-prone players, available for only 34 games in the past four seasons.
As Collingwood plots a course forward to become a more resilient side, his free agency status means the Pies will have to make a decision on his future at year's end.
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He is determined to remain a Pie but ideally would have found the durability and form that saw the club's list management team offering him a long-term deal with financial security.
If he cannot secure a satisfactory contract he could decide upon a fresh start, with his free agency status attractive.
Instead Elliott, 26, has only one goal in the past four games after 12 goals in his first seven appearances.
In that time he missed Rounds 9-15 with a hamstring issue then was rested as a precaution after the flight back from Perth where the Pies took down West Coast.
In 10 games he is averaging a career low in disposals and the lowest goal average, score involvements and marks since his debut season.
Buckley said on Triple M on Saturday it was hard to judge Elliott's performances given he was still trying to regain faith in his body after missing all of 2018 with injury.
"He has had a few little hiccups along the way but he's played more football this year than we have seen in the previous couple," he said.
"But judging him on his football at the moment and what he is and what he isn't is pretty hard to do given he is probably still in survival mode quite a bit.
"I just think it's not the time to be judging what Jamie is or isn't.
"He hasn't been able to play consistently enough and anytime we get him out on the park is a bonus for him at the moment to try to re-establish himself at the top level."
The Pies have lost the most games to injury since 2013, and could have only 27 fit players to choose from against the Suns.
They continue to battle to find the line between resting players and fast-tracking them back from injury.
Elliott looks short of a gallop but Taylor Adams re-tore his groin when pushing hard on the training track to return ahead of time.