MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 19: Daniel Wells of the Magpies is congratulated by Jaidyn Stephenson of the Magpies after kicking a goal during the round nine AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Collingwood Magpies at Etihad Stadium on May 19, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has ruled Daniel Wells out for this Friday’s clash with the Western Bulldogs, saying it is part of the veteran’s conditioning plan.

Wells managed just 10 games for the black and white in 2017, and only played his first game of 2018 two weeks ago against the Cats.

With a six-day break and consecutive games at Etihad Stadium’s notorious hard surface in mind, Buckley said the club was acting in the best interests of the 255-game injury-prone veteran.

“Wellsy won’t play, we’ll manage him this week. The plan was to play the two, miss this week and then play another two into the bye,” Buckley told reporters on Wednesday.

“He has given us exactly what we needed and what we thought we’d get in those first couple of weeks. His long term plan to get him right for the second half of the year is on schedule at the moment.

“Not often do the best laid plans go as originally planned, but we want to stay the course on this and make sure we get Daniel available for as many games as we possibly can through the season.

“I wouldn’t say he was never going to play this week, but this was the plan that was in place a couple of weeks ago or probably from a month ago.”

Buckley said the club has made long-term plans with the 33-year old to ensure his body is in prime condition for the business end of the season.

“It’s an opportunity to get a bit more work into him outside of match practice as well,” Buckley said.

“Wellsy has bought in on this and the onus goes back on him now to do some cross training to be able to continue to build his fitness and his resilience.

“We just didn’t get enough access to him last year and when we do we’re better for it.”

In better news, Pies swingman Ben Reid is expected to return from an Achilles injury that has held him out since the side’s round six loss to the Tigers. Defender Brayden Maynard, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, will also get the chance to prove his fitness at training.

Collingwood currently sits 10th on the ladder with five wins and four losses for the season.