Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has declared on SEN that Daniel Wells is at least a couple of weeks away from returning to AFL ranks.
The 33 year-old has had his fair share of injury problems last year. And unfortunately for the Pies, the injury curse appears to have transferred into 2018.
Wells is expected to play in the VFL this weekend and push his case for a return to the senior side in round four when Collingwood travel to Adelaide to take on the Crows.
Daniel Wells numbers in 2017
Daniel Wells only played 10 games in 2017. But of those games the midfielder played, the Pies enjoyed seven wins and a draw while Wells averaged 18.1 disposals and a goal a match.
Round 19 in particular against the Crows was Daniel Wells at his best. 34 disposals, 3 goals and 3 Brownlow votes to go with it.
The on-field stats confirm that the ability of Wells to get the ball compare favourably to previous years. But the concern for Collingwood will be the veteran has only played more than 10 games a season once since 2013.
Value for money
There is no question that Daniel Wells is a class act and quality player. But some eyebrows were raised when Collingwood signed the 31 year-old on a three year deal.
Collingwood list manager Derek Hine, as expected, defended the deal.
“He missed two previous years but prior to that he was averaging over 20 games per season. He’s not dissimilar to Ben Reid, I dare say.”
Ironically Reid missed the last game against GWS due to injury and is also pushing for a senior recall.
It was never expected Daniel Wells would play every game given his age and injury history. But the Pies need the midfielder to string a good run of AFL games together.
Not only to help vindicate their acquisition of Wells but to importantly help with on-field performance and winning games of football.