YARRAWONGA will limp into Saturday’s qualifying final against Lavington at Birallee Park.
The Pigeons could be without up to five key names as they look to bounce back from their shock 47-point hiding from Albury in the final round of the season.
Xavier Leslie, Kayne Pettifer, Brad Ottens, Connor Hargreaves and Corey Greer are all no certainty to take their place in the team.
Leslie shapes as the biggest concern, with last year’s runner-up in the Morris medal battling to recover from an ankle injury he suffered in Saturday’s shattering defeat.
Leslie left the ground on crutches with his ankle heavily iced and has been rated a 60 per cent chance of playing this week by co-coach Chris Kennedy.
“Ankles are hard ones to predict,” Kennedy said.
“He’s upbeat, though, and it’s not as bad as what we initially thought it might be. He’s a chance.”
Hargreaves, meanwhile, is even more likely to miss because of a shoulder problem.
Ed Bayles’ season is over thanks to a hamstring tear.
Greer is some chance of sitting out, too, after leaving Albury Sportsground dazed following a clash with Andy Carey that saw the Tigers’ enforcer reported for striking.
Greer suffered a knock to the head in round 10 and missed the Pigeons’ clash with North Albury the following week with concussion.
Pettifer, who has missed the Pigeons’ last two games with a badly bruised foot, is considered the strongest chance of the injured quartet to play.
It is still unclear whether Ottens, a ruck coach at Geelong, will be available.
The Cats are yet to officially lock in a top-two finish on the AFL ladder and Geelong could again stop Ottens.
Matt Irvine, Chris Wilson, Marcus Cummins, Marc Lonergan and mid-year pick-up Luke Ednie are the players most likely to come into consideration.
The Panthers, meanwhile, are expected to be at full-strength after a host of key names missed the club’s final round clash with Wodonga.
Lavington coach James Saker wasn’t getting carried away with talk that Albury had exposed Yarrawonga for a lack of pace on Saturday.
“If we’re going to be competitive with either of those two we need to be winning the contested ball,” Saker said.
“We’re expecting Saturday to be a physical game and we need to absorb that pressure as best we can.”
Saker said he expected assistant coach Matt Pendergast to be in the team.
The star midfielder sat out last week’s narrow win over Wodonga with hamstring tightness and is considered the biggest concern at Lavington Oval.