Ginnivan to make case for return through Magpies VFL

Collingwood forward Jack Ginnivan will make his return from suspension through the VFL despite impressing coach Craig McRae at training.

Unbeaten this season and with his replacement - Giants recruit Bobby Hill - flying, Ginnivan will have to bide his time for a recall following his two-game ban after admitting using illicit substances.

The Magpies could be forced into one change for Friday night's blockbuster AFL clash with Richmond, though, with Brody Mihocek a major doubt with a finger injury. Tom Mitchell, who has been battling a back issue, left the training track early but McRae said he wasn't in danger of missing the MCG match.

Ginnivan ran with the B-team at Collingwood headquarters on Wednesday, with McRae saying the 19-year-old will line up against Port Melbourne on Saturday night.

"He will get the chance to get some game time and make himself available," McRae said after training.

"He's done everything he can do in terms of what he can control - he's trained really well for a couple of weeks - there's been a real spike, which is what we've asked of him as we wanted to see some intensity."

"He looks ready to play so he's got to go out and perform above the level which we ask of all of our VFL players."

"We all make mistakes and we're looking forward to seeing his next reaction, which is his opportunity to play this week."

Key forward Mihocek was subbed out of the Magpies' 71-point thrashing of Port Adelaide last round.

"He's going to have to improve a little bit to be available," McRae said.

"There was a bit of splitting of the skin there and stitches required so we will have to wait and see but he's not ruled out."

Ash Johnson looms as a possible replacement if Mihocek doesn't play, with McRae impressed by his output, kicking four goals in Collingwood's hefty VFL win over Coburg.

After opening their season with a draw against Carlton, Richmond downed Adelaide last round with Tom Lynch kicking three goals.

When Collingwood and Richmond met in round eight last year he booted six to steer the Tigers to a 27-point victory. "He's a quality player and such a beacon for them, so Darcy Moore or Billy Frampton, those guys will get that match-up. He's certainly someone we're going to have to watch," McRae said.

Despite a fast start to 2023, the second-year coach said his team had plenty left in the tank.

"It's fascinating what you measure, and at the moment scoring has been a good measurement for us ... but our GPS is low.

"You think you're playing a high-tempo game, the GPS has been quite low in the last couple of weeks comparative to other big games we've played so I don't think it's been a cost on our physical output."