COLLINGWOOD star midfielder Dane Swan will be sidelined for up to a month with a foot complaint, continuing the Magpies' shocking run with injury.
The Pies can ill afford to lose a player of Swan's calibre, especially as they fight with Gold Coast and Adelaide to sew up one of the remaining finals spots.
Swan had been showing signs of struggle in the past month, as he dealt with a sore heel, but the injury to the plantar fascia in his foot – which he sustained against Essendon on Sunday – requires him to be off his feet for a prescribed period of time.
Collingwood director of football Rodney Eade said the club was hopeful to have Swan back in action by round 21.
"We think Swan can still be a strong contributor this season but in the short term it is clear that he needs to heal, get his foot right and reclaim that burst speed which has been such a feature of his game," Eade said.
Swan told Triple M on Thursday afternoon it was frustrating to be watching his teammates make the run to the finals without him.
"It's not pleasant. I'm going to have a spell, try to get myself better and hopefully make an impact in the last couple of games," Swan said.
"I've had little ailments and little niggles all year but none of them have been major enough to keep me out of games.
"I thought I could have made an impact, but clearly I haven't done that to the best of my ability.
"I expect a lot more of myself and so should my coaches and teammates and I just haven't been able to do that."
Swan has played 15 matches this year, taking his career total to 234.
The 2011 Brownlow medallist has averaged 25.4 disposals a game this season, dipping below the 30-plus he has averaged for the past five seasons.
Since the start of 2006, Swan has played an AFL-high 204 games, missing just seven matches with five of those because of injury.