Kelsey Griffin will miss the Canberra Capitals' return home but the inspirational captain looks set to avoid surgery on orbital and nasal fractures.
Capitals coach Paul Goriss has confirmed Griffin will "definitely be out for Sunday's game" against the Sydney Flames at the National Convention Centre after being left bloodied and bruised in an on-court collision last weekend.
A best case scenario would involve a return to the court in round three against Adelaide on December 19 but Griffin is facing weeks on the sidelines.
Griffin's left eye was swollen shut and blood spilled onto the court after she caught the chin of Sydney's Keely Froling this past Sunday, with the latter needing two stitches.
"It was a fair hit that happened in the collision with her and Keely, so obviously straight away we knew something had happened. You could see the blood on the court," Goriss said.
"Kelsey is a tough one, she usually will get up straight away and play on. You knew with her staying down, there was something more to it. With an orbital fracture and a nasal fracture, she could hardly see after the game.
"Our thoughts are just to get her the right rest and recovery she will need. I don't think it will require surgery so it's just taking time out to let those bones heal and then get her back on court as soon as we can.
"[We'll] look into whether there is a mask she can wear or if there is something else we can get. It's all still in the very early stages because it's only 48 hours afterwards."
Griffin's absence means the Capitals will have to cover for one of the league's most imposing forces, with Goriss conceding she fits the mould of the irreplaceable.
Brittney Sykes is poised to play a bigger role as the Capitals hunt for back-to-back wins over Sydney after claiming player of the week honours in round one.
Sykes has shown her worth in transition and defence and now Goriss has spoken to the United States import "about being more assertive offensively because it's not something she has ever had to do either in college or WNBA with great players around her".
"Kelsey is Kelsey and there are some players in the league that are irreplaceable," Goriss said.
"For what she does, from a leader, scoring, rebounding, screening, as big a post target as she is, I don't think there's one.
"We've got to do it as a group and find ways that every player is going to extend their input offensively. We've got to find ways within our structure that we're giving other people different looks that are going to put them in a position to be successful."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: