Steele Sidebottom may sit out the rest of the AFL season for family reasons after Collingwood's clash with North Melbourne on Monday night.
The Magpies' vice-captain will return to Melbourne after the match against the Kangaroos to be with his partner, Alisha, who is due to give birth to the couple's first child in September.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley is unsure if or when the star wingman will return to the club's Queensland hub.
"Steele will, and has, applied his trade here and has committed to us as long as he could," Buckley told reporters on Saturday.
"We are not cutting it too fine but, obviously, he wants to make sure he is there.
"There is no use heading home if the baby is born when he is in the air.
"We don't have a best-case scenario at this point (for Sidebottom's return to the team).
"The best-case scenario is, first and foremost, that everyone is happy and healthy and that Steele and his young family are committed to each other as long as they need.
"The rest will fall into place."
Sidebottom missed four matches through suspension after breaking AFL COVID-19 protocols in late June but has shone for the injury-hit Magpies since his return in round nine - averaging 23.5 disposals across four appearances.
His partner is reportedly due to give birth days before the final round of the home-and-away season.
COVID-19 protocols agreed by the AFL with the Queensland state government dictate club figures from interstate must quarantine for 14 days before joining club hubs and playing matches.
Meanwhile, Buckley confirmed Brody Mihocek will miss Monday night's match at the Gabba after he was unable to pass a concussion test five days out.
Ben Reid had already been ruled out with a hamstring injury, possibly opening the door for key forward Mason Cox to return.
Jaidyn Stephenson will return from a calf complaint and key defender Jordan Roughead is available after being cleared of concussion.
Buckley said Jordan De Goey had stepped up his training program and could return to action before the finals, but still needs time to allow his injured finger to heal.
"He is hungry to go, he wants to go. He is a bit of a caged animal in that sense," Buckley said.
"He can do anything other than handle the footy in a contested situation at the moment."