MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Will Hoskin-Elliott of the Magpies in action during the 2018 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Collingwood are expecting to be without Will Hoskin-Elliott for up to a month, with the Magpies flanker to require surgery on a broken hand.

Hoskin-Elliott was subbed out of Friday's win over the Western Bulldogs after sustaining the hand injury, which will likely force the 29-year-old to the sidelines for a crucial next few weeks for the ladder-leading powerhouse.

Speaking after his side's come-from-behind two-goal win, Collingwood coach Craig McRae confirmed Hoskin-Elliott has suffered a broken hand and could miss matches against Fremantle, Port Adelaide, Carlton and Hawthorn.

"The report was that he will have scans and likely see a surgeon early in the week," McRae told reports post-game.

"Probably require some operation. Three to four weeks I'm hearing."

Hoskin-Elliott's absence is likely to coincide with a suite of returning stars for next week's matchup with the Dockers, with Brayden Maynard (knee), Brody Mihocek (hamstring) and Steele Sidebottom (knee) in the mix, while key forward Dan McStay will press his case for a game after recovering from a finger injury and featuring in the VFL on Friday afternoon.

McStay was expected to make his return for the Bulldogs clash but had his plans for a comeback delayed due to illness last weekend, with the Magpies sticking with their decision to bring their attacking recruit back through the reserves.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24: Taylor Adams (left) Daniel McStay of the Magpies celebrate during the 2023 AFL match simulation between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at Ikon Park on February 24, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

His absence meant Ash Johnson would earn a recall after a week in the VFL recall given Mihocek's setback, with the sharpshooting Magpie taking his chance at Marvel Stadium in booting three goals in the win.

While many would see the number of forward options as a selection dilemma, McRae was quick to note the club hasn't managed to have their side at full strength all year so far.

"Everyone's been writing about this for three or four weeks, it's just never happened. We haven't had our best 22 all year," McRae said.

"Every time you think this magnet is back you lose one other.

"We haven't played a game without 'Checkers', it's different. We get the opportunity to see what Billy Frampton can do forward. Mason (Cox) had to play more minutes forward than he has been.

"We just haven't had that situation yet, but the magnets haven't all been there. We will deal with that when it happens."

Among those also pressing for selection for next week will be fringe midfielder Finlay Macrae, who enjoyed his best game in the VFL for the year in collecting 38 disposals, nine clearances and five tackles against Footscray.

Collingwood, who have now recorded 14 wins from their 16 matches this year, will welcome Fremantle to the MCG next Saturday at 1:45pm (AEST).