A severely under-strength Canberra Capitals will begin their title defence next week with up to four stars missing through injury.
Co-captains Kelsey Griffin (back) and Marianna Tolo (foot) are in serious doubt for Wednesday's season opener against Adelaide in Mackay, while Tahlia Tupaea is facing two weeks on the sideline after injuring her AC joint in Saturday's practice match win over Sydney University. Veteran Brittany Smart, meanwhile, continues to battle a calf injury.
The Capitals will fly to Mackay on Friday to ramp up preparations for the truncated WNBL season. Should Griffin, Tolo, Tupaea and Smart all fail to prove their fitness early next week, Goriss will have just eight players to select from.
"We'll slowly bring Kelsey and Tolo and Britt back into the fold, and Tahlia as well, hopefully in the first week or two" coach Paul Goriss said.
"There will be some of them that will miss the first two games of that first week. It's been a blessing for us, even though we've got players out injured at the moment that those other players that would've played a role are now actually starting or finding their way within our structure offensively or defensively."
The Capitals have finalised their playing list, after announcing Ashley Taia and Jade Melbourne will fill the 11th and 12th spots on the roster.
Taia played for Adelaide in the WNBL two years ago, while Goriss has tipped junior Australian representative Melbourne as a future Opal.
Both players will likely see plenty of early game time this season as Goriss juggles a testing early schedule with a severely depleted roster.
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"Our mantra is we don't need to be great at the start of the season, we need to be playing our best basketball towards the back end and into the finals," Goriss said.
"That's where we're at, we want to compete and we want to go out and win every game. For us we'll get better as we add players in and we'll be better at the back end of the season even though it's short."
Taia and Melbourne join Hannah Kaser as recent signings at the Capitals, and Goriss said the pair would play important roles this season.
"[Taia] is a great shooter and always brings that, her skill set complements our group, being able to stretch the floor around our bigs," Goriss said.
"Jade has got a terrific future ahead of her. She's young, a good athlete, super energetic and I think she'll surprise some teams with her skill level and what she can actually do out on the court for someone being so young.
"That's what everyone loves about Jade, she comes in and has a go and does it with a smile - the smiling assassin. I don't think she'll take a step back to anyone either. She'll have some big minutes to play for us and she'll definitely contribute - it'll be exciting to watch her growth."