Lachie Whitfield is out of Greater Western Sydney’s preliminary final clash with Collingwood after having surgery to remove his appendix.
The GWS star was hospitalised on Wednesday and won’t be able to take his place in the side this weekend.
Giants coach Leon Cameron said he hoped Whitfield will be able to play should GWS make the grand final.
“We’re confident it will just be one week. He obviously can’t play this weekend but we’ll be doing everything in our power to win this weekend and give him the opportunity to return if we progress,” Cameron said.
“It is what it is, these things happen. His health is more important than any game of footy.”
Giants launch appeal after Greene ban upheld
It’s another major blow for the Giants, who are also likely to be without Toby Greene.
GWS will make one last roll of the dice in a desperate bid to retain the talismanic forward, confirming they will front the AFL appeals board on Thursday night after Greene’s ban was upheld at the tribunal.
Tuesday night's shock tribunal verdict came despite favourable testimony from Lachie Neale, who said he couldn't recall feeling any contact to his eyes.
Greene's enormous importance to the Giants was emphasised during the semi-final victory at the Gabba, where he gathered 30 disposals and booted two goals.
The firebrand Giant had been at risk of missing that game but escaped with a $7500 fine for misconduct against Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli - a charge that also centred on Greene making contact with an opponent's face.
While Greene's growing rap sheet is a concern for the Giants, not having him available to face the Pies would be an even bigger worry.
GWS have only managed three wins from 18 games at the MCG and have never won a final there.
The Giants wasted little time deciding to appeal but the odds are stacked against them given only two out of 16 players have successfully challenged tribunal verdicts, the last being Melbourne midfielder Jack Viney in 2014.