Wangaratta captain Michael Newton suffered both sternum and rib injuries against Myrtleford on August 3.
"It's a displaced sternum and a little bit of bruising to the ribs," coach Luke Morgan said.
"It will be a week-to-week proposition, but we're looking at maybe one to two weeks."
Wangaratta is still in the hunt for the minor premiership, with a win over Wangaratta Rovers on Sunday almost certain to seal a top three finish.
Given it plays Wodonga in the final round, there would be no chance of risking Newton there, so his first game back would be in finals.
"That's more than likely, it's definitely not a season-ending injury, that's for sure," Morgan said.
It's been a terrible year for Newton on the injury front. He hasn't completed a game since April due to a torn pectoral muscle, hamstring and now the current complaint.
Sternums are notoriously hard to protect, so given the club's likely qualifying final berth isn't sudden death, the Pies will be ultra conservative.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Newton apart, the Pies are hoping to have their best team available for Rovers.
"Nick Richards did an ankle against Albury (July 20), while Dan Boyle's got a troublesome knee, but trained yesterday (Sunday) and trained well," Morgan said.
"They will both be pushing for selection."
Rovers will probably need to reproduce their round eight accuracy against Wangaratta on Sunday.
The Hawks landed 13.4 to oust Wangaratta (10.14) by eight points.
In their 16 games, Rovers have had seven positive, seven negative and two shared kicking outcomes.
"We had 51 inside 50s, so we went over 50 per cent in scoring (26 shots against Wodonga on Saturday), but we're just having real problems kicking goals and putting scoreboard pressure on."
Albury's Riley Bice showed his skill in a super first quarter against Yarrawonga.
The teenager booted two goals and set up one for Jake Page with a clever inside kick.
"He's very talented, but one thing he needs to work on is repeating those efforts," co-coach Tom McGrath said.
"He's starting off really well, but he's tending to drift out of games and we're not sighting him as much."
The league has a new hard man.
Yarrawonga's Tim McAuley opposed long-time Albury enforcer Joel Mackie on Saturday.
But where the two-time Morris medallist is feisty, boasting plenty of scuffles, the Pigeon is a silent type.
In the first minute of the second quarter, McAuley laid a strong challenge on Tiger star Dean Polo, who took exception with the tackler, who was then awarded a free kick.
Polo has been one of the league's best players since leaving the AFL at the end of 2012 and it's extremely rare for a player to nail him in a tackle, given his strength.
McAuley is from Temora and played plenty of rugby league.