COLLINGWOOD midfielder Taylor Adams won't play again before September after suffering a groin injury in Saturday's win over Port Adelaide at the MCG.
The 28-year-old was substituted out of the game at half-time before the Magpies banked a 10th straight win to move one game clear inside the top four with three rounds to play.
Scans on Sunday have revealed the vice-captain has strained his groin and will miss this Friday night's clash with Melbourne, along with crucial games against Sydney (at the SCG) and Carlton (MCG).
Adams has played 17 of 19 games this year, missing Scott Pendlebury's 350th milestone game against Adelaide a fortnight ago due to concussion.
The inside midfielder missed three months with an adductor injury in 2019 and the end of the pre-season in 2020 due to another groin injury.
Collingwood will assess Adams in the coming weeks but is hopeful he will be available for the first week of the finals.
MEDICAL ROOM Check out the full injury list
Star defender Jeremy Howe is expected to be available for the clash against his old side, despite finishing the game on the bench with a corked buttock.
The 32-year-old copped a knee to the area and will need to pass a fitness test on Thursday before being cleared to face the Demons.
Collingwood is hopeful key forward Brody Mihocek will be available on Friday night after missing the win over the Power due to hip soreness.
Mihocek has played 96 of a possible 100 games his debut in mid-2018, leading the goal kicking in the past three seasons at the AIA Centre, as well as this year with 34. Jack Ginnivan is the next best with 32.
Dual All-Australian Brodie Grundy could return to the senior side to combat Melbourne ruckmen Max Gawn and Luke Jackson after making a successful return in the VFL on Saturday.
The two-time Copeland Trophy winner collected 21 hitouts, 11 disposals, nine tackles and five tackles in difficult conditions at Victoria Park, blowing out the cobwebs after more than three months on the sidelines due to the PCL injury he suffered on Anzac Day.
The Magpies will need to consider whether Grundy can benefit from another run in the reserves on more minutes, or if the South Australian is good to go this weekend off a six-day break.
Craig McRae is unlikely to play Grundy in the same 22 as Darcy Cameron and Mason Cox, but could consider it if Mihocek doesn't recover in time to play the Demons.
Cameron (26 hitouts, 16 disposals and a goal) and Cox (20 hitouts, eight disposals and a goal) comfortably beat Jeremy Finlayson and Charlie Dixon in the air, although the Magpies lost the clearance count and contested ball.