After almost a year out with a stress fracture in his foot, Alex Fasolo is likely to return to Collingwood’s side to play Richmond on Saturday in Wangaratta.
And the talented forward is understood to be close to agreeing to terms on a new two-year deal to remain at the Magpies.
The marking half-forward has been training with the defenders for periods through summer to enable him to switch to half-back, as the club seeks to increase its options for creative running defenders following the departure of Heath Shaw in the off-season.
Fasolo has not played since injuring the navicular in his right foot in May last year. Prior to that, he had been a reliable goalkicker for the Magpies, booting more than one a game (45 goals in 40 games) since making his debut midway through 2011.
Jamie Elliott’s emergence and the return of Dayne Beams after injury last year have enabled the Magpies to explore the idea of swinging Fasolo behind the ball.
Collingwood football manager Rodney Eade said Fasolo was close to returning to the side for the second NAB Cup game against Richmond in Wangaratta but would have to get through another training session to be finally ticked off to play.
Key defender Ben Reid, who is also out of contract but has received a four-year deal to remain with the Magpies, is also expected to play on Saturday.
Reid was a free agent at the end of the season but talks are understood to be progressing on the new contract.
Collingwood’s other long-term injured player, athletic running defender Alan Toovey, is also getting closer to his return to senior football.
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