Coach Alastair Clarkson is confident Hawthorn can cover the loss of Brent Guerra for Friday's blockbuster qualifying final clash with Collingwood, but refused to give anything away about his likely replacement.
Guerra tore his hamstring in last week's win over the Eagles, which earned the Hawks their first minor premiership since 1989, with immediate fears his season could be over.
But while Guerra suggested on Wednesday that if the Hawks reach the grand final he might be fit to return, Clarkson was reluctant to comment when he faced the media at Waverley Park on Thursday morning.
"He's going to miss this week, that's all we're really concerned about at the moment," Clarkson said when asked about Guerra's chances of returning in 2012.
"He'll be out, we'll review his replacement this arvo.
"(There's) a lot of hypotheticals and what-ifs (regarding Guerra's chances of playing again this year).
"We'll (just) worry about this week and Collingwood.
"If Goo (Guerra) gets himself fit that's great but if he doesn't get there we'll find someone else to replace him."
Xavier Ellis has been touted as a possible replacement for Guerra, with the team to be named on Thursday evening, but regardless of which way they go Clarkson is confident the club have plenty of options.
"Our back end has been a little bit more stable this year and that's assisted us a bit," he added.
"A couple of times we've had to take (Ryan) Shoenmakers forward for pinch hits but by and large the stability of our back end has really, really helped us throughout the course of the year and most premiership assaults are built on really strong defences.
"The last time we played against Collingwood Goo was out through suspension.
"We've been able to cope without our guys at various stages and it perhaps reflects the depth of our squad more than anything that we've got guys who can come in and play their role."
Helping with that depth is the fact that Box Hill remain active in the VFL finals, allowing players not currently in the seniors to keep up their match fitness.
And Clarkson said that at present that suits a player like ruckman Max Bailey, who has been unable to force his way back into the AFL line-up following injury because of David Hale and Jarryd Roughead's combination.
"It will be horses for courses," Clarkson said regarding the club's ruck stocks from week to week.
"Max is continuing to play which is good, he played a really good game at Box Hill last week.
"Max has been unavailable for a fair amount of that time so Roughead and Hale have got a fair chemistry going and we'd think that would be pretty hard to break but who knows what happens in the next couple of weeks.
But Clarkson also did not rule out having to make changes in coming weeks, saying: "It's unlikely that the side that you enter the finals series with is the one that will still be there for you at the end.
"There will be someone that falls along the way, that's just the intensity that's expected in finals."If that happens to be a different combination that we need with our rucks we'll make that choice when we need to."