MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 11: Daniel Wells of the Magpies looks on during the Collingwood Magpies training session at Olympic Park Oval on January 11, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has admitted recruit Daniel Wells was not in ‘match condition’ when he arrived at the club.

Wells joined the Pies at the end of last season after 243 games in 14 seasons at Arden Street.

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The 31-year-old’s final three seasons at the club were hampered by several nagging injuries, but Buckley defended the Magpies’ decision to recruit the veteran onballer.

“He wasn’t in match condition when he arrived, but neither were a lot of other players. That’s what a pre-season is for,” Buckley said on SEN radio on Thursday morning.

“Does that mean that he’s imperfect or does that mean he was the wrong bloke to get in? Absolutely not, he’s been fantastic for our group.”

Wells suffered a calf injury in December shortly after starting pre-season training. But the Collingwood coach said he is not concerned about Wells’ ability to play the majority of the season.

“He’s a 31-year-old footballer who’s been around, he’s played 240 games. We’ve got full confidence he knows exactly what he needs to do to get himself right,” Buckley added.

“We’re still getting used to him as an athlete and what he needs and he’s still getting used to our footy club and what our game plan’s asking for.

“He’s in pretty good shape now, getting a lot of footy work in and heading in the right direction.”

Wells signed a three-year, $550,000 per season deal with Collingwood in October last year.