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)

Collingwood rookie Charlie Dean is battling a foot injury just two weeks out from his side's Round 1 clash with St Kilda.

Dean has firmed as a likely starter for Craig McRae's first game in charge of the Magpies, with veteran key defender Jordan Roughead having required surgery on his shoulder this pre-season.

Roughead is set to miss the opening rounds of the home and away season, opening a place for Dean to make his debut just four months after being selected by Collingwood in the Rookie Draft.

After claiming the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal as the VFL's most promising player, Dean quickly gained attention from AFL clubs, with the Magpies swooping on the key defender's services.

Dean's dream of lining up for the Magpies in Round 1 has been scrapped, with the 20-year-old requiring scans on a foot injury sustained this week.

It is understood that Dean could face multiple months out of action, likely placing further headaches on McRae's planning for his side's season opener.

“We will know more once Charlie has seen the specialist but we are expecting that his recovery will keep him out of the selection frame for a number of weeks,” Collingwood GM of Football, Graham Wright, said.

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Having to face the key-forward threat of Max King, Tim Membrey and Rowan Marshall to open their year, the Magpies' defensive depths could have an uphill battle to begin the season with a win.

40-gamer Jack Madgen is now well placed to feature for the Magpies on Friday, March 18, while young swingman Will Kelly and recruit Nathan Kreuger may also be tried in defence.

Collingwood pair Jordan De Goey (ribs) and Jeremy Howe (abductor) are both tipped to be fit for Round 1 despite recent injury setbacks.

The Magpies will clash with Greater Western Sydney this weekend as part of the AAMI Community Series before their season opener against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.