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De Goey returns for Pies, Howe sidelined

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Collingwood have cleared Jordan De Goey to return against Gold Coast just days after he ended his leave of absence from the AFL club.

JORDAN DE GOEY. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Controversy-plagued star Jordan De Goey will return to AFL action in Collingwood's clash with Gold Coast, but Jeremy Howe has been ruled out through illness.

Key defender Howe has a stomach virus and will leave a significant hole to be filled in the Magpies' back-line for Saturday night's contest at Metricon Stadium.

De Goey's comeback after a short period away from the game following a fallout from his ill-fated Bali trip is a boost to the Pies' chances of snaring a sixth-straight win.

"Jordy trained really well (on Thursday) and he trained with high energy," Collingwood coach Craig McRae said.

"He trained with high energy the other day and looks like he's in a good place to perform well.

"I caught up with him on Monday and he seemed like he was in a good place, he was ready to come back and deal with everything that was going on.

"He comes back full of energy."

De Goey apologised for his "disrespectful" conduct during the Magpies' bye round after vision of him partying was posted to social media.

The 26-year-old also revealed he had been diagnosed with ADHD and vowed to make changes to ensure he stays out of trouble.

The apology, issued via the club, came after De Goey hit out at media outlets on his Instagram page for "the relentless pursuit and persecution of athletes".

McRae has addressed the situation with De Goey and on Thursday dismissed reports the player had been unhappy with the club's handling of his latest off-field saga.

"No, not at all," McRae said.

"I met with him and his manager and to be honest it was about moving past to be able to then step forward."

De Goey is out of contract at the end of the season and McRae won't discuss the midfielder-forward's long-term future publicly, but has issued simple instructions for the rest of the campaign.

"I want him to get into it and be himself, to be honest, not only in his football but even the stuff outside of football as well," McRae said.

"He's been doing a lot of work on that and we've seen growth, and clearly he's got more to do.

"I'm not going to talk about anyone's contract, not just Jordy's, but I do talk about what the next 10 weeks looks like.

"It's about just trying to perform at his best, give to the team and be a good teammate."

Collingwood are hopeful veteran Howe will only miss one match as they chase a finals berth.

They sit seventh on a congested ladder with a 9-5 record, one win off second spot and one clear of 10th.

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