MELBOURNE will make at least two forced changes for its qualifying final against North Melbourne on Sunday, but a trio of players are closing in on a return to football.
Forward/winger Casey Sherriff has been ruled out for the year after fracturing her forearm against Brisbane.
"Casey came off with that arm injury, it's something she's had before and unfortunately, she has sustained a fracture again," Melbourne AFLW head of high performance Sam Batterton told the club site.
"That will rule her out for the rest of the season, which is really unfortunate."
Ruck Rhi Watt is also unavailable to face the tall Kangaroos line-up after suffering a concussion against the Lions.
The Dees are hopeful Paxy Paxman will return after she was a late withdrawal from last week's match, having felt hamstring tightness during the warm-up.
"She was assessed, and it was deemed that it was just tightness but it was too much of a risk, so we pulled her out of the game," Batterton said.
"But she has pulled up really well, so she'll train this week and if she ticks a few boxes, she'll look to be available on the weekend."
Melbourne may also be boosted by the availability of recruit Aimee Mackin (ankle, three matches) and defender Maddi Gay (hamstring, two matches), the former being the ideal replacement for Sherriff.
Defenders Gabby Colvin (Achilles, 1-2 weeks) and Sarah Lampard (wrist, 2-3) are chances to return this year should Melbourne win through deep into the finals series.
As it stands, Melbourne has the longest injury list heading into finals with seven players named, three of whom are tests for this week.