INJURY-RIDDLED Greater Western Sydney banked another four points at the weekend but the win came at a huge cost with Heath Shaw, Josh Kelly and Sam Reid all failing to see out the game against Adelaide.
Shaw was stretchered from the field in the final term because of a left knee injury. The veteran defender was hopeful of returning this season but will learn his fate when he has scans on Monday.
Kelly was knocked out in a Taylor Walker tackle in the third quarter and spent the rest of the match on the bench, while Reid left the ground early in the third term with a hamstring issue.
Essendon is likely to be without a number of key personnel when it faces League-leaders Richmond in Friday night's must-win match at the MCG.
Brendon Goddard hyperextended his right knee early in Friday's win over St Kilda, Cale Hooker went down to the rooms in the third term with a right knee complaint and didn't return, Orazio Fantasia finished the match with ice on his left hamstring, while Adam Saad was concussed after a solid Nathan Brown bump in the first quarter.
Goddard has been cleared of any structural damage to the ACL in his knee but is expected to miss weeks, Hooker appears likely to line up against the Tigers, Fantasia has a minor hamstring strain and will miss at least round 22, while Saad will be assessed during the week.
Determined Sydney backman Alex Johnson suffered a potentially career-ending knee injury in the upset win over Melbourne. Johnson, who has already had five knee reconstructions, suffered the suspected ACL injury late in the first term when his 'good' right knee buckled as he went to change direction.
Fellow Swans defender Nick Smith will be assessed during the week after he went off (and failed to return) with a back/hamstring complaint in the first half.
Port Adelaide will be sweating on the availability of star ruckman Paddy Ryder (hip flexor) ahead of its crunch clash with Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.
Power spearhead Charlie Dixon has a broken leg that requires surgery and won't play again this season, while defender Dan Houston, who was sent to hospital for X-rays on his neck after a heavy collision with Brendon Ah Chee, has been cleared of any major neck damage and is a chance to face the Pies.
Hawthorn will be hoping captain Jarryd Roughead makes it to the line for Saturday's date with St Kilda. Roughead was a late out because of an ongoing ankle issue.
Teammates Blake Hardwick (shoulder) and Ryan Burton (head knock) will also be assessed.
Geelong will likely be without ruckman Rhys Stanley for its all-important clash with Fremantle on Saturday after re-injuring his calf against the Hawks.
The news looks more promising for fellow Cat Zach Tuohy. The Irishman broke a bone in his right hand during the second quarter of Saturday's blockbuster, but is optimistic about extending his streak of games played (which currently stands at 135).
Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan went down to the rooms in the third term against the Swans with a right foot issue, and although he returned, he appeared slightly inconvenienced by the problem. Coach Simon Goodwin is hopeful he will be fit for the trip to Perth to take on West Coast on Sunday.
Returning Demons defender Jayden Hunt is in doubt for round 22 after he limped from the ground with a right ankle complaint in the final quarter. Hunt has re-injured the ankle that sidelined him in June.
Bulldogs defender Zaine Cordy is almost certain to miss the remaining two weeks after he went to hospital with a fractured skull during the win over North Melbourne.
Michael Walters' season looks over after he injured his left hamstring in Sunday's win over the Blues.
Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. He was a late withdrawal from the clash with Fremantle after experiencing his second elevated heart rate episode (the first was during the round 17 loss to St Kilda).
Brisbane defender Darcy Gardiner could be done for the year after he dislocated a shoulder in the first term of Saturday night's loss to Collingwood. Lions medical staff were unable to reset it on the bench, so he was taken into the rooms where it was successfully put back in, but Gardiner did not return.
Gold Coast will be without Will Brodie and Pearce Hanley for the remainder of the season. Brodie pinged a hamstring before half-time, while Hanley did his late in the third quarter.
In other injury news:
- Jordan De Goey finished Saturday night's match – his first back from leg bone stress - on the bench, however, Collingwood said it was precautionary. Utility Ben Reid was injured in the VFL and will miss the rest of the season
- West Coast pair Nathan Vardy and Liam Ryan collided early in the second quarter. Vardy had his left knee looked at by the medical staff before returning to finish out the game. Ryan was helped off the ground with a cork to his right thigh, but he also played out the match
- Melbourne defender Neville Jetta was assessed for concussion after a collision with Lance Franklin in the third term but was able to play on
- Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko had treatment on his right ankle in the third quarter and again during the final change after being stomped on, but finished the match and is expected to be right to face the Suns on Saturday night
- Bomber Kyle Langford seemed to cop a nasty left shoulder injury but he returned to the action
- North Melbourne forward Mason Wood suffered a cut above his eye but returned soon after
- St Kilda defender Bailey Rice had his right thumb assessed in the third term but played out the game
- Fremantle's Luke Ryan came from the field in the first term with an apparent left hamstring issue, but after completing some run-throughs on the boundary line, the backman returned after quarter-time
- Richmond's AFL side returned from the Gold Coast without any injury concerns, but Reece Conca, who was coming back from a dislocated ankle in the VFL, rolled his ankle (the opposite one to which he injured in round 15)