COLLINGWOOD will assess captain Scott Pendlebury over the coming days after the star midfielder was unable to complete Friday night's match against Richmond due to an ankle injury.
Pendlebury rolled his left ankle midway through the final term after teammate Brodie Grundy inadvertently bumped him in a contest, immediately leaving the field to receive treatment.
The skipper was spotted on crutches, with his left foot in a compression sleeve after the game, and coach Nathan Buckley is fearful the injury may be significant.
"It's sore. He wasn't able to come back on and that tells me that there's something amiss but we'll find out more in the next couple of days," Buckley said.
The Magpies missed their skipper's cool head in the final stages of the game as the Tigers kicked clear to claim a 15-point win.
"It looked like he was up and about in that last quarter and we were coming. Whenever your skipper goes down, the leadership void hurts, especially when we had a few passengers on the night," Buckley said.
"It wasn't Pendles' best night but he's the type of bloke with the maturity and leadership to understand that it might not be his game, but it might be his moment and he looked like he was on his way to doing exactly that."
What looked like a promising night, after the Magpies kicked the first four goals of the match, quickly turned sour for Buckley's side.
The coach lamented his team's ball use, but above all he was most disappointed with his side's team defence.
Collingwood conceded 132 uncontested to Richmond marks and, knowing full well that was the brand of footy the Tigers were going to play, the Pies failed to step them in their tracks.
"It was really disappointing. Our first 10 minutes looked great – our offence and our connection forward looked good," Buckley said.
"Contested ball (29-24 in the first quarter) and clearance (13-3) was in the green and then we proceeded to play the worst three quarters that we've played all year and we were still two points up with eight minutes to play.
"We just had too many blokes that had 'mares'."
Although many of his players were down on the night, Buckley was quick to single out youngsters James Aish, Rupert Wills and Josh Smith who he thought were "up for the fight."
Aish, 20, who was traded from the Brisbane Lions to the Magpies in the off-season, continued his stellar month with 18 disposals and five marks (three contested) against the Tigers.
"To come into a new club it took him a while to settle, as you'd expect, playing with all new teammates," Buckley said.
"He's a very professional and focussed guy and once he had an opportunity to get his head around the role he needed to play we're seeing some pretty good footy.
"He's rewarding us, even in these early stages for the interest we had in him and we're looking forward to seeing where he can go after the form he's displayed over the last five or six weeks."
Buckley said he expects Darcy Moore (hamstring) to be fit for next Friday night's clash with the Western Bulldogs, although Alex Fasolo (shoulder) is unlikely to play and there is a chance the Pies could call an end to his season.
"We won't be taking any risks with him (Moore) but if he's fit he'll play," Buckley said.