Collingwood are unsure whether Brodie Grundy will be fit to make his AFL comeback before the finals following the star ruckman's latest injury setback.
Grundy returned from three months on the sidelines with a knee injury through the VFL last week and was hopeful of breaking into the Magpies' side for Friday night's blockbuster against Melbourne.
But an ankle injury suffered at training has thrown up another hurdle for the dual All-Australian ruckman.
Grundy did not train with teammates on Thursday and is unlikely to play at any level this week.
Whether he is fit to play in the Magpies' last two qualifying matches before the finals - against fellow top-eight sides Sydney and Carlton - remains to be seen.
"I was happy with the amount of minutes he played in the VFL but he just pulled up sore," Collingwood coach Craig McRae told reporters on Thursday.
"Obviously we don't want that. We want him to be fresh and vibrant and jumping around and bringing his best energy.
"We'll just have to assess what it's like over the weekend.
"Hopefully he pulls up well from that and then we can progress from there."
Grundy suffered a knee injury in Collingwood's win over Essendon in round six and has not been seen at the top level since.
The ankle concern continues what McRae conceded had been a frustrating run for the Magpies and their first-choice ruckman.
"We were hoping to get some momentum and he's missed a lot of footy this year," McRae said.
"But he's got a real positive outlook on life and he's looking at what he can do in this short-term.
"He might not play this week and then progress from there."
Collingwood this week ruled out Taylor Adams (groin) for the rest of the home-and-away season and McRae declared the tough midfielder will be touch and go for week one of the finals.
"There's a bit to play out but our aim is he's going to be available for the first week of finals," McRae said.
"I think he's going to need all that time to be right."