Magpies' Swan, Thomas ready to face Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies' Swan, Thomas ready to face Swans

By Guy Hand 24/06/2011 03:52:18 PM Comments (0)

Sore and suspended no longer, Dane Swan and Dale Thomas will give Collingwood long-term gain for short-term pain when they resume their AFL seasons on Saturday night.

So says Magpies coach Mick Malthouse, who believes his midfield guns are rejuvenated after two-week breaks ahead of a finals-shaping clash with Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

Swan had been carrying several knocks and was sent to the United States for a mini training camp while Thomas was suspended for the Magpies' big win over Melbourne in their last hitout a fortnight ago.

Second-placed Collingwood had the bye last week, meaning the duo had an extra week's mid-season break ahead of the match against the sixth-placed Swans.

Malthouse said the enforced breaks had benefited both players.

"He does (seem rejuvenated)," Malthouse said of Swan.

"And so does Dale Thomas. I think both boys will benefit by it ... for the long term you'll see a rejuvenated pair."

While Swan and Thomas return, ruckman Darren Jolly won't be risked against his old club following a long break because of a knee injury.

Jolly will instead resume playing in the reserves this weekend.

Malthouse also shrugged off any doubts over defender Harry O'Brien, who suffered an adverse reaction to antibiotics last week.

"He'll be fine, I'm sure," Malthouse said.

The Collingwood coach hopes the curse of the bye - which has proven a huge obstacle for teams playing the week afterwards - will reach tipping point this weekend for the Magpies.

Like so many others this season, Collingwood lost coming off the bye in May.

That match against Geelong was the premiers' only loss so far this season.

"It looks like some of the sides, and we're a victim of it as well, have gone into holiday mode," Malthouse said.

"We've played intense football for a long period of time so I just think the break came at a very good time for us.

"From that we're hoping that the players are ready to go for the second half of the year."

Malthouse said the Magpies hadn't differed too much from a strategy they put in place earlier in the year for dealing with the bye.

"There's a few boys we sent home, particularly the interstate fellas, a lot of the young country boys went back home," he said.

"The more you can disassociate yourself with football (during the bye), the better."

Collingwood have a nine-match winning streak against the Swans stretching back to 2006 when the Swans were reigning premiers.

Sydney will be without No.1 ruckman Shane Mumford - suspended for a sling tackle during the week.

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