Brown a finals hope if Magpies make September

COLLINGWOOD defender Nathan Brown says there is a possibility he could be back playing football this year – but only if the Magpies pull off a miracle and go deep into the AFL finals.

BACK IN TOWN: Collingwood defender Nathan Brown returned to the Minerdome yesterday, where he said it was possible he could still return to playing AFL football this year. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

BACK IN TOWN: Collingwood defender Nathan Brown returned to the Minerdome yesterday, where he said it was possible he could still return to playing AFL football this year. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Visiting the Minerdome yesterday to promote responsible gambling and to hold a training session with his former junior basketball team Saints, Brown said his dislocated shoulder had caused great frustration as he watched his side slip out of the eight and on the verge of missing finals.

Collingwood has dropped its last two games against bottom-eight sides by a combined 127-points, convincingly beaten by West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Lions.

With just two games remaining in the home and away season, Collingwood most likely needs to beat Greater Western Sydney and Hawthorn to qualify for finals.

“If we go deep in the finals, which is still possible, then I probably could get back but I don’t think there’s any real rush because I’ve done (my shoulder) a few times now,” Brown told The Courier.

The former North Ballarat Rebel, who was also forging a promising basketball career as a junior before plying his trade in football, has faced a torrid year with injury.

After suffering a minor dislocation in the early stages of the season, Brown underwent a full shoulder reconstruction after re-injuring it in his first game back from injury in May.

“It’s normally a 15-week injury, which is next week but there’s no real rush at this stage,” the key defender said.

“It’s tough, especially because this is the first year I’ve been in the leadership group so I really want to make my mark on the field and try and lead some of the young guys and be out there as much as possible.

“That’s been the most frustrating part, so I’ve had to try and find another way to try and help them out off the field wherever I can.”

Brown was visiting Ballarat due to Collingwood being a supporter of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, with the Minerdome Sports Club also promoting responsible gambling in Ballarat.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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