Melbourne Vixens have suffered a huge blow to their Super Netball finals hopes with shooter Mwai Kumwenda to miss the rest of the season after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament.
The Malawi international suffered the injury in last weekend's loss to West Coast Fever which plunged the Vixens from third place to fifth.
"We are really disappointed for Mwai, who is obviously an integral part of our team but also such a loved member of the Vixens family," coach Simone McKinnis said.
The waning Vixens need a win in the final round on Sunday against the in-form Sunshine Coast Lightning to have any chance of making the top four who contest the play-offs.
The Lightning are in third place on 63, six points ahead of the Vixens at 57.
The Vixen's leading shooter will undergo surgery in the coming weeks with
"The support she has received so far from the players and Vixens support staff is a reflection of the person she is, and we will continue that support to ensure a successful rehabilitation program for as long as it takes."
Kumwenda's injury comes off the back of a strong season for the 28-year-old who is Super Netball's fifth highest goal scorer - with 501 goals at an incredible accuracy rate of 95 per cent.
Twenty-year-old Rahni Samason has been tipped to replace Kumwenda in the Vixens line-up against the Lightning but a final decision won't be made until Thursday a club spokeswoman told AAP.
Super Netball final round fixtures:
Friday 7.30pm - Adelaide Thunderbirds v NSW Swifts, in Adelaide Saturday 3pm - Queensland Firebirds v Magpies, in Brisbane Saturday 7pm - Giants v West Coast Fever, in Sydney Sunday 1pm - Melbourne Vixens v Sunshine Coast Lightning, in Melbourne
* All times AEST