Collingwood are hopeful defender Darcy Moore hasn't suffered a serious knee injury despite being stretchered off late in the Magpies' thrilling five-point AFL win over Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.
Moore landed awkwardly on his left knee in a marking contest late in the game as Collingwood scored the last three goals of the match to claim a nailbiting 9.13 (67) to 8.14 (62) win over the Suns.
In a boost for the in-form Magpies, who have now won six games on the trot, coach Craig McRae said the initial post-match diagnosis was a positive one.
"It's a hyper-extension, that's the first diagnosis," McRae said.
"We'll have to wait for scans in the coming days and work out what that looks like.
"It's hard because you've got this care for the player, you see the replay and you think 'oh no, fingers crossed, he's OK' and there's two minutes to go on the clock and you are trying to manage the game, trying to stay in the moment, to be honest, and manage that moment.
"But as soon as that moment is finished, it's just 'where is he? I want to see how he is'.
"Fingers crossed it's a positive result for us."
Gold Coast, whose slim finals hopes have all but been extinguished by the narrow defeat, had an injury setback of their own with defender Connor Budarick appearing to re-injure the ACL he hurt last year.
Budarick went down in a separate contest during the gruelling fourth-term before coming off the field.
Suns coach Stuart Dew said the outlook wasn't good for the 21-year-old who only returned from a knee injury earlier this year after rupturing the ACL in his right knee in round two last year.
"It doesn't look great for his knee," Dew said.
"We're not sure, obviously, but unfortunately for Connor it didn't look great.
"We feel for Connor because he's worked so hard, he's an important member of our side.
"He's young. He's got a big future ahead of him. He'll fight back."
Suns small forward Ben Ainsworth also left the stadium in a moon-boot after injuring his left leg in the same marking contest where Moore was hurt.
The injuries came at the end of a see-sawing contest where the Magpies just found the winning edge after the Suns had gone 14 points clear early in the final term.
Josh Daicos and Jack Ginnivan kicked three goals each for the visitors, while Daicos' brother Nick was best on ground with a career-high 37 disposals, seven score involvements and 674 metres gained.
Izak Rankine starred for the Suns, with four goals, while captain Touk Miller had 31 touches and Noah Anderson (30 disposals, one goal) was also excellent.
Collingwood's win also came despite an out-of-sorts return to the AFL by superstar Jordan de Goey, who could only manage 11 touches in his first game since returning from a period of personal leave after a controversial trip to Bali during the mid-season bye.
The Suns also had a moment to remember when Papua New Guinea product Hewago Oea scored a goal with his first kick in the AFL after being a late inclusion for the hosts at the expense of Chris Burgess to make his debut.
Having kicked the first three goals of the match, the Suns went in at halftime down by nine after Collingwood scored five unanswered across the first and second quarters.
Despite some inaccurate finishing by both teams, Gold Coast held a one-point lead at the final turn before Rankine fired a quick double, including a freakish effort off the ground, to have the hosts dreaming of a vital win.
Josh Daicos, Brody Mihocek - who burned a gilt-edged opportunity in the second term much to McRae's disgust - and then Will Hoskin-Elliott all kicked goals after that to snatch a dramatic win for the Magpies.
Australian Associated Press
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