MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 16: Jeremy Howe of the Magpies looks dejected after their defeat during the round four AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the St Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium on April 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Collingwood is bracing for life without Jeremy Howe after coach Nathan Buckley admitted the star defender will be out for an extended period with a knee injury.

Howe injured his knee in a collision with GWS midfielder Jacob Hopper midway through the fourth quarter in the Magpies two-point defeat to the Giants.

Buckley told reporters after the game that the early diagnosis was that Howe suffered damage to his medial and posterior cruciate ligaments.

“We won’t see him for a while, I don’t think,” Buckley said in his post-game press conference.

“He’s been great. He’s a great leader, a great player. I’m devastated for him.

“He puts a lot into his footy – he invests all of himself into it – so you are going to lose people as you go along, through a season, at different times, and we will have to cover – and we will – but right now … Howey’s devastated,” Buckley said.