NORTH Albury's tumultuous off-season has plunged into further turmoil with another player joining a rapidly growing injury list.
Promising youngster Mitch Eyers suffered a knee injury in the Hoppers' practice match against Yackandandah on Thursday night.
Eyers is set to have scans in the coming days to determine the extent of the damage.
The Hoppers have already lost versatile tall Josh Lloyd for the season after he recently did his ACL for the third time.
The pair join Jesse Kennet and Jack Penny who are also nursing knee injuries and aren't expected to be available for selection until at least round three.
Julian Hayes has a thumb injury and is also expected to miss the opening month of the season.
Coach Luke Norman was taking a philosophical approach to the setback.
"That's football and injuries like that you can't help," Norman said.
"If all the players were going down with soft tissue injuries you could question the training program.
"But we haven't had one but knee and thumb injuries often just come down to bad luck."
The Hoppers won their first practice match by more than 100-points.
But they can ill-afford any injuries with depth at Bunton Park a concern after attracting minimal recruits over the off-season.
Versatile tall Ethan Bakic alongside forward Jacob Beattie were the Hoppers' two most notable recruits.
Norman said potential recruits often overlooked struggling clubs in favour of signing for a rival club where there was a better prospect of playing finals.
He conceded the Hoppers were unlikely to sign any further recruits before their season opener against flag fancy Myrtleford.
"I know when I was at Wangaratta and we were struggling it was a real battle to recruit any quality players," he said.
"Players simply don't want to go to a side down the bottom of the ladder and are struggling.
"That's the only thing I can put it down to.
"We have spoken to quite a few high-profile recruits but they couldn't commit this year for varying reasons."