North Bendigo's HDFNL premiership hopes have been dealt a blow with key forward Darcy Richards likely to miss the finals series.
Richards landed awkwardly in a contest in Saturday's win over Colbinabbin and scans on Sunday confirmed he had suffered a fracture in his lower leg.
"We're not sure how long he'll be out for,'' North Bendigo coach Matt Dillon said.
"He's probably very doubtful (for the finals), but the door is not completely closed.
"He's in a cast and he'll speak to a specialist this week to see if it needs a plate."
Related: Final round drama in HDFNL
The minor premier Bulldogs have this weekend off and will play the winner of the LBU-Colbinabbin game in the second semi-final on August 31.
Should the Bulldogs make the grand final, Richards would have until September 14 to prove his fitness.
"If we make the grand final he has four weeks to recover...not ideal, but you never know,'' Dillon said.
Richards' absence will force the Bulldogs to swing either Jordan Ford or Shane Harris from defence to attack.
Both have experience as forwards. Ford kicked six goals in last year's grand final loss to Leitchville-Gunbower, while Harris bagged six goals against Heathcote earlier this season.
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