Collingwood was hit with the stomach bug ahead of their game against Gold Coast, with Jordan De Goey and Will Hoskin-Elliott missing training on Friday morning.
The Magpies are looking to ensure no other players contract the virus, with coach Crag McRae confirming that a group of backroom staff have also been affected.
“We’ve had a bit of a gastro in this place this week,” McRae said Friday.
“A few coaches fell. Now Will and Jordy are out today.
“I hope in the next 24 hours they will feel better.
“He [De Goey] has not trained in the past 24 hours. He’s gotten a little overboard here.
McRae admitted De Goey and Hoskin-Elliott, the former of whom is being touted as an All Australian candidate after a strong start to the year, have no certainty to take to the MCG on Sunday.
“Everything at the moment is sensitive around the disease; when they show signs of anything, we keep them out of the place,” he said.
“We will have to wait and see how it [De Goey] feels. Not only him, but Will is the same.
The pair’s absence would be another blow for the Magpies, with star ruckman Brodie Grundy and young striker Nathan Kreuger already out for the must-win game.
McRae already has several other selection dilemmas to consider, with veteran Mason Cox and raw rookie Aiden Begg vying to replace Grundy, after the two were named in the Pies’ extended trade on Thursday night.
Darcy Cameron is expected to move up to the number one position, but McRae said one of Cox or Begg may be needed for backup against Gold Coast ruckman – and former Magpie – Jarrod Witts.
“He trained really well,” McRae said of Cox, who was dropped after a quiet performance against Brisbane in Round 5.
However, higher praise has been reserved for 19-year-old rookie Begg, who was taken in the 2021 midseason rookie draft and is seen as a key long-term prospect.
His form at VFL level has been really strong – he has improved tremendously,” McRae said of Begg.
“When I arrived, I thought to myself, who is this big boy? Just to see him grow up before our eyes. I never thought he would be in a position where we would consider his name for the seventh round.
“It shows his growth and the work that Josh Fraser has done.”
Second-year strikers Oliver Henry and Trent Bianco are the main contenders to replace De Goey and Hoskin-Elliott if they are ruled out. Bianco scored five goals for the Magpies’ VFL side over the weekend.
Blue hit: Hurt Hewett adds to Carlton’s injury problems
Carlton ruled out star rookie George Hewett for their clash with North Melbourne on Saturday night, with the midfielder unable to overcome a clogged calf in time for the game.
Hewett has been a revelation since moving from Sydney to Ikon Park, averaging 30 transfers per game in the first six rounds to become one of the Blues’ best midfielders.
Youngster Jack Carroll, who was chosen with pick 41 in the 2020 National Draft, was named on his AFL debut in place of Hewett.
“He’s tough, he’s tough and I know he’ll do very well,” coach Michael Voss said of Carroll.
“He works extremely hard and that always puts you at a very good starting point.
“He’s worked very closely with our mids throughout pre-season and he’s certainly mixed it with some of the bigger boys out there.
“He will not evade a competition this young man. I think the Carlton faithful will be pretty happy to see his career unfold.
Hewett joins ruckman Marc Pittonet on the sidelines, who suffered a PCL injury in the Blues’ loss to Fremantle.
In better news, key forward Harry McKay overcame a knee injury suffered against the Dockers and was given the go-ahead to face the Kangaroos.
Horned Simpson’s wild clapback ‘irrelevant’ after Yeo criticism
Adam Simpson has blasted polarizing AFL media commentator Kane Cornes, following harsh criticism of Eagle star Elliot Yeo.
Cornes took aim at the fitness of the injury-prone midfielder on Nine’s Footy Ranked during the week, suggesting Yeo’s poor preparation may be to blame for his disastrous run.
“[He’s] clearly out of shape, and his standards have slipped on the West Coast,” Cornes said.
“He shouldn’t be playing if he shows up like this – that could be one of the reasons the West Coast is in the position it is in.
“He needs to get in shape.”
Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Simpson dismissed criticism of the player and the club – but not before throwing a scathing return serve at the former Port Adelaide 300 player.
“To be honest, I haven’t read anything Kane Cornes wrote or heard anything he said, so what comes to mind about his opinion is irrelevant” , Simpson said.
When pressed about it, the 2018 Premiership coach defended Yeo, saying the criticism of his lack of fitness was “unfair” given his recent horror with injuries.
“Elliot Yeo hasn’t played football for two and a half years, really. He had osteitis [pubis]he injured his calf, he was taken off at the start of the second quarter, he played two games this year.
“I think it’s a bit unfair if that’s the criticism he gets. He’s played 12-13 games in the last 40 games. He works very hard. I will support him and it’s still not not relevant.
Cornes, however, was not done, responding to Simpson’s defense on SEN breakfast Friday morning.
“My answer to that would be: maybe he missed so much football because he didn’t prepare,” he said.
“Maybe you are less likely to get osteitis pubis if you carry less weight and put less strain on your body. Maybe as you get older you need to cut back a bit and lose this weight.
“I think there would be a case to be made with that.
“The second point is that just because you missed the footy doesn’t excuse you from what you eat. I’m sure he can ride his bike and have non-weight-bearing aerobic activity that can keep in shape.
“If you’re a full-time professional athlete, I think we have a responsibility, and so do the fans, to say so. And I don’t think Elliot Yeo is in good shape, that was my point of view.
Yeo will miss Friday night’s Eagles matchup with Richmond with a concussion.