Collingwood will be sweating on the fitness of Darcy Moore after the key defender suffered another hamstring injury during the Pies' hard-fought victory over Essendon at the MCG on Friday night.
Moore hurt his troublesome left hamstring midway through the final quarter of the Magpies' thrilling 11-point triumph over the Bombers and his fitness is sure to be closely monitored in the lead-up to the start of the finals in a fortnight.
The talented 23-year-old only just recovered from the hamstring he tore against the Eagles in round 17 and this latest blow could rob the Magpies of a key pillar in their stingy defence during the post-season.
Moore was seen with ice on his hamstring after the match, although Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley didn't give too much more away about the crucial member of his back six during his post-match media conference.
"Darcy came off tight ... (there were) no other real signs apart from that," Buckley said.
"(He was) tight in the hammy and we didn't want to risk him behind that.
"We just take a few deep breaths, get a good night sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow and then go from there."
The victory moves the Magpies up to third place on the ladder and leaves them with an outside possibility of earning a second chance in September should other results fall their way over the remainder of the weekend.
While Buckley admitted he would much prefer to have a top four spot sewn up already, he was happy just to finish the season on a high having returned to some good form.
"There is a bit of respite now," Buckley said in reference to the bye prior to the first week of finals.
"We have looked after our end of the bargain, the home and away is done and dusted and the wins and percentage are locked, so now we see where it settles.
"We have still got a lot of upside with that and the sides that do well in September are ones that continue to improve and we have got a lot of improvement in us."
And Buckley said he would be happy to once again take on the Bombers in a cut-throat elimination final should that be how the final eight shapes up at the end of the weekend.
"If that is the way it falls then we will welcome that," Buckley said.
"We draw the line on the season now including on tonight’s game and we begin the finals season which I think exists in its own right as a separate entity and we need to perform in that."
Injury-plagued defender Matthew Scharenberg was concussed during a first-term incident against the Bombers, but Buckley said the 23-year-old was starting to gather his wits when sitting on the bench late in the contest.