Canberra Capitals star Lauren Jackson is in danger of missing the rest of the WNBL season as the team's finals hopes hang by a thread, coach Carrie Graf declaring they make Jackson's welfare a priority.
Jackson could be ruled out as early as Wednesday, with the club set to make an announcement on her immediate playing future after she had scans on her troublesome knee on Tuesday.
The results will determine if Jackson takes part in the Capitals' tortuous trip to Townsville to face the top-of-the-table Fire in a must-win match on Friday night.
It's likely Jackson will need more surgery on her knee, with injury limiting her to just six games in more than 12 months.
Jackson has been playing through pain to help the Capitals' finals ambition, but her knee is still causing problems and limiting her ability to have an impact.
Graf said the Capitals wouldn't be taking any risks with Jackson, with her health the number one priority.
"She's having scans today and she'll be reviewed later in the week for where to from here," Graf said.
"If she feels like she can't go, there's no point.
"We don't want it to impact her further.
"There's no pressure from our organisation to have her playing, it's athlete welfare first.
"Our team success comes well after that."
The Capitals are in fourth place on the ladder and if they beat both the Fire and second-placed Bendigo Spirit, they must still rely on the Sydney Flames losing one of their three final games.
The Flames take on the Adelaide Lightning and the West Coast Waves on the road this weekend before finishing off the regular season at home to the Fire.
The Capitals roared back into championship calculations with the return of Jackson before Christmas, but the four-time Olympian sat out last week's costly 79-71 loss to the Lightning after suffering swelling to her knee.
Jackson's return to the starting team after the Christmas break has taken the pressure off captain Abby Bishop on the defensive end.
"She is a massive part of our team," Bishop said.
"It doesn't matter if she's not scoring 20 points, she's still in there on defence and pulling down rebounds, which is one thing that we have kind of missed all season.
"It was great having Loz there, it was a weight off my shoulders.
"It was nice to have another big, true post out there and take attention off myself."
The Capitals were hammered 106-58 when they travelled to Townsville on January 2, but rested their starters once the game was out of reach.
Graf believes the Capitals have the side to turn the tables on the Fire and hopes they can get some help from teams out of finals contention.
"If we can find a way to win two games, we're going to put ourselves with a situation where we have a shot," she said.
"Those teams on the bottom of the ladder have enough talent to create an upset and they're playing fearlessly."