Collingwood's Josh Daicos is "cherry ripe" and will use the coming weeks to ease the workload on a recent lower leg issue that has kept the Magpies midfielder off the track.

Daicos has dealt with the ailment over the last few days and is set to slowly return to training, with the reigning best and fairest winner and his club not looking to rush the wingman back into the pre-season.

The injury isn't expected to hamper Daicos' preparations ahead of the 2024 season, with the Magpies' first practice match of now just over a month away.

"Like his brother, they do a mountain of work, especially in the off-season. Fitness wise, he's cherry ripe and ready to go," Collingwood assistant Hayden Skipworth said of Daicos when speaking to media on Wednesday.

"We're just holding them back, he's gonna be a couple of weeks just to let his foot settle.

"We could probably roll him out there if we wanted to, but there's no risk this time of the year with all of our players."

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Collingwood forwards Ash Johnson and Brody Mihocek have also been placed on limited duties as the Magpies plan to aid their respective workloads ahead of a critical campaign.

A five-time leading goalkicker at the club, Mihocek is looking to overcome a niggling calf complaint of his own before resuming his role as Collingwood's spearhead.

Johnson, who looms as the front-runner to replace injured tall Dan McStay in Craig McRae's attack, has been given time away from the track before plans to see his training loads built back up.

"He's going well, he's joined us in some drills today. He'll be back in later this week or early next week," Skipworth said of Mihocek's recovery.

"He's so important to us, so we don't want to take a risk with him, especially with Dan out.

"He had a little calf injury if I'm correct, so we're just letting that settle down before we get him back out there.

"... Ash is going really well, running PBs and in career-best fitness. He'll be back (at training) Friday, we're just giving him a down load today and letting his body settle.

"He's done heaps of work and will crack in again."

Johnson will find some competition from the likes of Reef McInnes and Nathan Kreuger for a spot in McRae's plans, with the trio contending to partner Mihocek in the forward 50 as part of the Magpies' flag defence.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 10: Mason Cox of the Magpies and Ash Johnson of the Magpies look on during the Collingwood training session at the Holden Centre on June 10, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Skipworth noted his side has the depth to fill the void opened by McStay's season-ending ACL setback, with the reigning premiers set to trial several options throughout their campaign.

"We've got lots of options, tall or smaller," he added.

"We're trailing different things. We know how we start is not going to be how we finish the season, so we're open-minded with that role."

Another option could come via the Supplemental Selection Period, with the Magpies currently having six train-on prospects looking to prove their value this summer.

Former AFL-listed trio Jack Bytel, Joshua Eyre and Brynn Teakle have been joined by lower-level talents Sam Sofronidis, Lachie Sullivan and Campbell Hustwaite in joining the Pies' program during the SSP

With a trio of list spots to potentially fill, Skipworth revealed the Magpies have been impressed by all six trialists, with a list needs basis likely to lead their decision-making ahead of the February 19 deadline.

"They've been awesome," Skipworth said of the club's SSP prospects.

"They've added to our culture and fit in really well. All of them have shown they can play at this level so it'll probably come down to list needs.

"We've got three spots available at the moment, so as we get closer to the cut-off date we'll start to sit down and have some serious conversations as to who gets the nod. We've been impressed with all of them.

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"Obviously, I sort of watch the mids (to see who stands out), so Jack Bytel and Lachie are both going really well with the mids.

"They've all shown glimpses they can play at this level. For those roles and spots we're not asking them to be a Jordan De Goey or Nick Daicos, we're after them to fill a role for us."

Collingwood's first practice game of 2024 will come against North Melbourne at Arden Street on Wednesday, February 21. A following matchup with Richmond is scheduled for Arden Street the week after.

The Magpies' premiership defence official gets underway on Saturday, March 9 against GWS at GIANTS Stadium as part of the Opening Round fixture.