Collingwood veteran Jeremy Howe has reportedly been ruled out of Saturday's Opening Round clash against GWS.

The Magpies' backline is already without premiership defender Nathan Murphy indefinitely due to concussion concerns, with senior coach Craig McRae already needing to fill the void left by the athletic stopper.

Murphy's absence adds to Dan McStay's knee injury that will keep the spearhead Magpie out of action until the end of the season at the very least, with the reigning premiers needing to rely on their reinforcements at either end of the field for their preliminary final rematch against the Giants.

Their selection woes have been compounded as Howe deals with a corked leg, with 7 News reporter Mitch Cleary revealing the high-flying defender will miss this weekend's action.

With Howe unavailable, the Magpies could look to blood third-year defender Charlie Dean for his first game at senior level.

Dean has endured a luckless run with injury across his opening two terms black and white, with multiple foot injuries keeping the 2021 Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal winner to just a trio of VFL appearances.

The 22-year-old was impressive in his maiden pre-season with the Magpies and recently enjoyed a short cameo in Collingwood's Community Series win over Richmond last week, recording 12 disposals and eight marks in less than half the match.

The Magpies are likely to look toward Billy Frampton to partner captain Darcy Moore on their last line; however, Dean potentially earns a call-up if McRae looks to go for another tall defender against the Giants.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 05: Charlie Dean of the Magpies in action during the Collingwood Magpies Intra-Club match at Victoria Park on February 05, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

An alternative option would be to go smaller and find more speed out of defence, with John Noble a chance to return to the senior side after falling out of favour during the Magpies' stellar finals run last year.

Fringe midfielder Finlay Macare is another Magpie who missed out on taking part in the premiership run and could start the 2024 season under McRae, while top recruit Lachie Schultz is destined to line up against the Giants.

Collingwood will confirm their squad for Saturday's match on Thursday night before travelling to New South Wales to face GWS at GIANTS Stadium on Saturday at 7:30pm (AEDT).