Collingwood have put a line through Nick Daicos' chances of playing in Thursday's Qualifying Final against Melbourne, while defensive pairing Darcy Moore and Nathan Murphy will make their returns.

Daicos was initially seen as a small chance to play in the club's opening final when he first suffered his knee injury against Hawthorn in Round 21, with the Magpies knowing their second-year sensation would be ahead of schedule to be any chance of playing this week.

While the 20-year-old has commenced a return to running as part of his rehabilitation, with the club noting he is "progressing really well", Collingwood confirmed on Sunday evening that Daicos would not be fit in time for their opening final against the Demons.

“He's progressing really well, really happy with the progress so far. He's completed a couple of runs and pulled up really well from both of those. The timing is just going to be a little bit short for the first final (Qualifying Final), so we will rule him out of that one," Collingwood performance manager Jarrod Wade said.

“We want to make sure we give him enough time to get the loads in his legs and now that he is able to run, make sure we build that load tolerance back up in there and make sure that the joint is responding each time to that load tolerance.

“He's unavailable this week and we're really confident that if required he'll be able to play week two of the Finals Series.”

The news is more promising for the club's captain however, with Moore cleared to return from a hamstring injury that has hampered the key defender since Round 22.

Following a training block to return to peak fitness, Moore will face the Demons at the MCG on Thursday.

“He's put in a really big block over the past three weeks, he was full training last week as well and will continue to be in full training in the lead into the game,” Wade said.

“He's made himself available and cleared the criteria for that return from his hamstring injury."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: Darcy Moore, Nathan Murphy and Jack Crisp of the Magpies celebrate winning the round 15 AFL match between Collingwood Magpies and Adelaide Crows at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on June 25, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Fellow defender Murphy is also in line to return after battling with glute and back issues since the Magpies/ Round 23 loss to Brisbane.

Murphy missed Collingwood's final home and away season game against Essendon due to the ailments, with a two-week break giving the defender ample time to be fit for the Qualifying Final.

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“We tried to get him up for the last game, but he was a late out. He was full training last week and is completing full training this week in the lead into the game, so he should be available as well,” Wade said.

Elsewhere, forward pair Ash Johnson (arm) and Reef McInnes won't be available for the first final at the very least due to injuries sustained at VFL level in recent weeks.

Young defender Jakob Ryan will be assessed over the coming days as he looks to recover from a concussion sustained in Round 23, while fringe midfielder Josh Carmichael is also recovering from a head knock and is no certainty to be cleared for selection for this week.

Emerging Magpie Will Kelly is unlikely to be fit throughout the next month as he nurses an ankle injury sustained over the weekend in the VFL.

Kelly has hurt the same ankle that recently kept him sidelined and may require close to a month of rehabilitation.

Collingwood are scheduled to host Melbourne at the MCG on Thursday at 7:20pm (AEST).