MANLY'S hopes of defending their premiership may come down to two separate pieces of correspondence that they will receive today.
This morning, the Sea Eagles are likely to be given the results of scans on co-captain Jamie Lyon's calf injury, while in the early afternoon, fellow centre Steve Matai will learn his fate after the match-review committee releases its charges.
Sea Eagles officials are more optimistic of Lyon proving his fitness for Friday night's first semi-final against North Queensland at Allianz Stadium than they were.
While Lyon, one of Manly's key players, had a protective boot on his lower leg immediately following the Sea Eagles' loss to the Bulldogs on Friday night, club medical staff believe the injury might not be as bad as feared.
There have been suggestions Lyon might have suffered a high calf strain. A low calf strain would almost certainly rule him out of Friday night's encounter, providing a significant blow to a side that faces losing players elsewhere.
Centre Steve Matai and prop Jason King face scrutiny over high tackles on Bulldogs Sam Perrett and Aiden Tolman respectively. Matai's poor record will ensure that even a low-grade suspension will be costly.
However, the Sea Eagles have had some good news, as forwards Tony Williams and Joe Galuvao are expected to play despite suffering injuries.
Williams hyperextended his knee, while Galuvao suffered a calf injury, but the medical staff are confident they will play against the Cowboys.
Lyon remains the club's biggest injury doubt. He said after the game: ''Definitely, it's not the best. We've got to grin and bear it, and hopefully the [scan] results are good.'' With the Sea Eagles likely to be without one centre and possibly both, coach Geoff Toovey will have some thinking to do before he names his side tomorrow. He will likely shift winger Dean Whare into centre, possibly recalling Michael Oldfield to take Whare's spot on the wing. But if Manly lose both centres, Toovey may have to play a back-rower in the position, as he did on Friday night following Lyon's injury.
Williams is one option, while Jamie Buhrer was brought on at right centre after Lyon's departure. The utility said he was comfortable about taking the job on again if needed.
''We've got a few options there,'' Buhrer said. ''Hopefully he is right, but if he's not and I have to play, I'll be more than happy to do that for the team. I've played there a few times this year and a few times last year … that's what I'm in the team for - to cover for them. Fingers crossed he's all good for next week.''
Still, Buhrer said the Sea Eagles' problems didn't begin and end with injuries or suspensions. ''There are some small positives to take out of the game, but overall, we just didn't complete,'' he said.
''It was as simple as that. We were in the game at the end, but in semi-finals, if you don't complete, then you're not going to win.
''We're just going to have to do it the hard way now.''