Prolific Magpie Adam Treloar is set to miss at least the next three weeks because of his latest hamstring injury.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley confirmed after his side's nine-point win over Sydney at the Gabba on Thursday night that the AFL's leading ball-winner had suffered a fresh soft-tissue setback.
It was a rough night on the injury front for the Pies, who lost Will Hoskin-Elliott (knee) in the opening minutes, before Isaac Quaynor split his right shin open laying a tackle on Swan Sam Wicks.
Treloar's strain came just four days after he played in the Pies' 12-point defeat to Fremantle, meaning he was potentially a casualty of the truncated fixture.
The 27-year-old midfielder, who amassed 25 disposals, five inside 50s and four clearances, left the match for good before three-quarter time.
"'Ads' is, at this stage, a minor hammy, but you'd be looking at three weeks for that, and that could be 12 games, who knows, with the compressed fixture," Buckley said.
Quizzed on what role the short turnaround might have played in Treloar's fate, Buckley responded: "Whatever I answer this, even if I say a little, then it has a contribution, doesn't it?"
"Everything goes into the mix. We planned to really aggressively rotate our players," he said.
"We made changes into the Fremantle game for that reason and it didn't come to fruition for us from a win-loss.
"We probably made as few changes as we planned to, in four, going into this week, and 'Ads' was one we would have looked after (next) week, and we really do want to share the load.
"I've got no doubt that you will see situations like this. We know there are extra demands on players and on clubs that haven't been there in the past, so it's part of what you're going to find yourself in."
Treloar also missed Collingwood's season opener with a hamstring issue, before a calf complaint in the club's first session back from the shutdown period sidelined him until round five.
He missed nine matches at the end of the 2018 home and away season, after tearing both hamstrings sprinting mid-game, with the left one requiring surgery after tendon damage.
Speaking to Fox Footy earlier in the week, Treloar reported he was "feeling really good" and had no fears of his body failing him despite the short break between games.
Buckley said the severity of Quaynor's injury – his lower shin was split "six, eight inches completely open" – could owe to first-gamer Wicks wearing metal studs.
Sydney coach John Longmire was unaware post-game of what happened but the Swans confirmed afterwards that Wicks was wearing "standard-issue screw-ins".
"His studs sort of raked across his shin and … the kid could have had metal studs in as well, so that was his bad luck, tackling the only kid who (potentially) had that," Buckley said.
"But that will be a couple of weeks (out).
"It'll depend on how you can clean the wound and heal that up. Will (Hoskin-Elliott) was studs and bone bruising in the knee and that was pretty much the first contest he was in."
Buckley was mostly pleased with his side's performance, especially after struggling so much in the contested area of the game in the previous two games, but said "we do need to finish and that will come".