Hawthorn is counting the cost of its 19-point loss to Sydney, with star forwards Jarryd Roughead and Cyril Rioli likely to face periods on the sidelines.
With Sam Mitchell already missing for up to two months with a severe hamstring injury and Brian Lake missing with an injured calf, the Hawks appear set to lose both Rioli - who suffered a suspected hamstring injury in the opening minute of the second half - and Roughead, who appeared to bump former teammate Ben McGlynn high in the third quarter and is short odds to be suspended.
The Hawks had also lost skipper Luke Hodge before the game, because as coach Alastair Clarkson explained, they did not want to take any risk with the captain, who had hamstring soreness.
But even though his team endured these setbacks and fought back to take the lead, Clarkson called the performance ''pretty ordinary'' overall, since the Hawks had not matched Sydney's endeavour.
''We were pretty ordinary tonight,'' he said. ''Sydney were a lot more fanatical at the contest than what we were, we were lucky to still be in the contest at quarter-time. So we fought our way back into it and worked pretty hard and had our chances through the second and third quarters to give ourselves a chance to win the game but I don't think it's a surprise to anyone, you guys, the supporters, our players, Sydney were a better side on the night by far.
''I think they had 22 or 23 inside-50s in the first quarter. I can't remember a game where that's ever happened to us. So if you give a side that sort of supply and opportunity going inside 50, we were really lucky to still be in the game at quarter-time.
''We really worked on the basis at quarter time that we can't play any worse boys. Let's just work our way back into the game slowly and see how we go and we did that, credit to our players.
''They were too fanatical tonight.''
Clarkson deflected questions on the Roughead incident, but was clearly peeved that ex-Geelong skipper Tom Harley had suggested Roughead was in trouble. "Apparently Tom Harley saw it ... surprise, surprise that a Geelong player would put a Hawthorn guy in," he said. "We'll wait and see on that one."
Of the Rioli injury, Clarkson said: "We will rehab it and get him back again. I don't know the severity of it."
Lance Franklin booted 2.7, converting two goals in the final quarter after seven misses, but he marked and moved well on a number of opponents, in his first encounter with his former teammates.
"He gave them a good target up front,” Clarkson said of Buddy. “We were really fortunate that he didn't have his kicking shoes on tonight because he could easily have kicked five or six goals."