Macaffer sets sights on Round 1

Brent Macaffer5Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley hasn’t ruled out a Round 1 return for ACL victim Brent Macaffer but has vowed Brownlow medallist Dane Swan will no longer play hurt.

The Magpies finished a week-long camp at Falls Creek on Friday with a gruelling triathlon in which Jamie Elliott’s strong third-placing on the run leg showed his hamstring is making encouraging progress.

After a diabolical year with soft-tissue injuries last year Buckley said the Pies had to change their methods, conceding they had battled those issues since mid-2011.

He won’t discourage Macaffer from putting a seven-month timeline on his return after August surgery, but Matt Scharenberg (ACL) won’t be rushed back.

“Caff has still got Round 1 in his head and when it gets to expectations you are not going to diminish those as long as he’s not hurting himself,’’ he said.