COLLINGWOOD coach Craig McRae expects Jordan De Goey will return home to Australia this month but remains unsure if the troubled star will feature again for the AFL club.
De Goey is in the US where he is facing assault charges, with his next court date set for December 8.
The 25-year-old is charged with punching and kicking a 37-year-old man at a Halloween-themed party in New York on October 30.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which his lawyer Jacob Kaplan has described as “unwarranted”.
Rookie Collingwood coach McRae, who oversaw his squad’s return to pre-season training on Monday, cannot guarantee De Goey will rejoin the playing group for the 2022 season.
“Time will tell on that, there’s a bit to play out,” McRae said.
“It’s a little bit premature to say whether he’ll be back here training and the like.
“But one thing I will say is (I’m) just touching base with Jordy regularly to make sure he’s OK.
“Over my journey working with some great coaches I’ve learnt that you just want to make sure the person’s OK and care for the person first.”
De Goey, who initially went to the US in October for an off-season training camp in California, has been stood down by Collingwood from all duties.
The Magpies will wait for the legal process to play out before making a decision on whether to permanently sever ties with the 118-game forward/midfielder.
“One thing I’ve probably learned over this period, in particular, is to just be patient and let the facts come before you pass judgement,” McRae said.
“I’ll just let that take its own course, but (I’m) more concerned about Jordy’s wellbeing.
“I’ve just been touching base with him regularly and I know he’s training hard over there now.
“I think he’s sort of coming to terms with everything but I won’t go into full detail about everything that we spoke about.”
McRae said he didn’t know the exact details around De Goey’s return to Australia but said he believes the player will be back before the end of November.
Asked whether De Goey is still welcome at Collingwood, McRae said: “At the moment I’m making sure that when the opportunity presents – if it presents – that Jordy will feel well-supported.
“I want all our players, not just Jordy, to feel that I’ve got their back and show the love and support where it’s needed.”
Earlier this month, De Goey released a short statement in which Kaplan said the player “intends to vigorously defend himself against these unwarranted charges”.
New York police withdrew initial charges alleging that De Goey had forcibly touched a woman during the nightclub incident.
(C) AAP 2021