The Swans will be without dual Brownlow Medal winner Adam Goodes for around six weeks after scans today revealed he had suffered a tear to the quadricep muscle.
Sydney coach John Longmire hinted that Goodes is likely to now be sidelined with the injury until after the Swans have their mid-season bye in round 12.
That would mean Goodes would miss games against Richmond, Melbourne, St Kilda, the Western Bulldogs and Essendon. The positives for the Swans are that they have a tougher second half of the season when Goodes will be back on the field, and they are sitting in third on the ladder with a 5-1 record.
Goodes hobbled from the SCG six minutes into the final quarter of the team's five-point loss to Adelaide on Saturday night, after pulling out of a contest and instantly grabbing for his left hip. The precise nature of the injury was not known until he had the scans.
"We knew at the time that having him pull up as quickly as that, that something might have been wrong and the scans showed there was a reasonable tear there," Longmire said. "I spoke to him again today and he said he felt something but he thought he could almost run it out."
"We have to be reasonably conservative with it because we don't want to do any more damage."
Longmire said it will depend on who their opposition is each week as to which players he uses to replace the hole left by Goodes.
Goodes, despite his age of 32 has been one of the most durable players in the AFL. Amazingly he has missed only seven games during his 305-match career, which began in round one of the 1999 AFL season.
He missed three matches in 1999 when he broke a bone in his arm - the only time he has missed multiple games - and then went on a game-streak of 204 in succession, before missing the round 14, clash with Collingwood in 2008, when he was suspended for a match. He then missed games in round 18 of that season with a groin injury, and was then rested for the round 22 match that same season to give the injury a break before the finals.
He then played the next 75 games without missing a match before a one-match suspension saw his streak come to an end, back in round four against North Melbourne.
While he had a slow start by this standards to the 2012 season, Goodes was one of the standouts in Sydney's win over premiership contenders Hawthorn in Launceston two weeks ago, and was showing before his injury on Saturday that he had recaptured his rich vein of form with another imposing display. He had looked on track to not only steer the Swans home, but with five goals to three-quarter time, he appeared set to threaten his career best of eight goals kicked against Fremantle in 2008.
Apart from the eight-goal haul in 2008, and Saturday night's five, the only other time Goodes has booted that many in a match was back in 2000 against this weekend's rivals, Richmond.
Of note is that while he is enormously valuable to the club, in the games Goodes has missed the Swans have won four and lost three.
Across town the GWS Giants confirmed on Monday that Setanta O'hAilpin had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the loss to his former club Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Scans confirmed the extent of the injury which will end his season. The club's medical staff and O'hAilpin will meet surgeons later this week to decide on the best course of treatment for the 29-year-old.