Collingwood recruit Jeremy Howe has had surgery to repair a broken finger suffered in bizarre circumstances.
Howe went under the knife late last week after he got his middle finger caught in the ground when attempting to catch a frisbee while he and his girlfriend were playing with their dog at home.
The 25-year-old had to have two screws inserted in the lower part of his finger and he is expected to wear some form of cast before making his return to training.
Howe, who has been battling foot soreness this pre-season, is unlikely to be fit for the opening round of the season.
"He'll obviously be out for a few weeks," Collingwood's Director of Football Neil Balme told AFL Media.
VIDEO: Howe's first Collingwood interview.
"There's probably no hope of him playing round one. With these two things going against him, it's going to be hard for him to get in front of it."
The finger injury was a relatively minor procedure but it will still cause some interruptions in the former's Demon's ability to complete any touch work at training.
"It probably complicates (his return date) a bit," Balme said.
"He needs to keep off his foot, and the fact that his hand's not working, he won't be trying to get to the footys too quickly."
The Magpies put Howe on a modified program in January, fearful his foot soreness could have had the potential to develop into a stress fracture.
Howe, who kicked 80 goals in 100 games for Melbourne, was traded to Collingwood in the off-season as part of a four-way deal also involving Jimmy Toumpas moving to Port Adelaide, Paul Seedsman landing at Adelaide and Ben Kennedy shifting to the Demons.
The high-flyer has been slated to play as a forward for Collingwood after spending the majority of his final season at Melbourne as a rebounding defender.
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