St Kilda ruck star Paddy Ryder has been ruled out of the rest of the AFL finals series with a serious hamstring injury.
Ryder was hurt in the dying stages of Saturday's three-point elimination final win over the Western Bulldogs.
The Saints confirmed on Sunday that Ryder would miss the rest of the season and might need surgery.
The club's first finals win in a decade was also the first of Ryder's 257-game career, but it ended with the 32-year-old veteran on the bench in tears.
It was bittersweet for Ryder, who moved to St Kilda ahead of the 2020 season as one of five new signings in a bumper trade period.
"It's really disappointing for Paddy who has given everything to the club this season and played such an important role last night against the Dogs," St Kilda chief operating officer Simon Lethlean said.
"Whether or not the injury requires surgery will be determined in the coming days after speaking with relevant experts.
"All teams face injuries to key players and we now have to find a way without Paddy.
"Part of the motivation for our group now is to make sure we don't let him down and instead step up."
St Kilda could also be without Jake Carlisle against Richmond in Friday night's semi-final at Metricon Stadium as they await his decision on whether he will continue playing this season.
The key defender is considering leaving the club's hub for family reasons, with his partner due to give birth in the near future.
Saints coach Brett Ratten said he will sit down to discuss the situation with Carlisle on Monday.
The Saints upset Richmond at Marvel Stadium in round four but face a huge challenge against the reigning premiers, who entered the 2020 finals as flag favourites before being beaten in a qualifying final by Brisbane.
"We played Richmond a long time ago and they've been in really good form," Ratten said.
"They've been a great team for three years, so we've got our work cut out, but I think tonight (the win over the Bulldogs) just shows a bit of belief.
"We absorbed the pressure and it's not easy ... but we got through and got the result.
"That will give our group a little bit of confidence."