Wagga Tigers' premiership hopes have been dealt a blow with the loss of defender Pat Gaynor for the rest of their finals campaign.
Gaynor had scans on his injured knee this week and will require surgery for torn meniscus.
While disappointing, it was somewhat of a relief for Gaynor that it was not a torn ACL given he has already undergone two knee reconstructions.
Gaynor injured the knee in the second quarter of Tigers' qualifying final loss to Griffith at Narrandera Sportsground last Saturday.
Tigers coach Troy Maiden was shattered for Gaynor.
"His ACL is intact, which is awesome, but he has torn meniscus and been referred to a surgeon," Maiden said.
"It's really disappointing for him, he's been good for us. He's had a bad run of injuries over the last few years and was getting back to enjoying his footy and playing with confidence.
"It's unfortunate but these things happen I suppose."
While Gaynor will go out, Tigers will welcome back ruckman Tom Osmotherly for Sunday's first semi-final against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes at Kindra Park.
Osmotherly dislocated his shoulder in the final round loss to Griffith but will return for Sunday's sudden-death final.
Not only does it give Tigers a strong presence in the ruck, but it allows Louis Beard to return to defence and boost their backline.
"Yeah'll he play this week," Maiden said of Osmotherly.
"Obviously he'll have a pretty big impact on our side. He gives us first use a lot of the time and he's just a big presence around the ground. Even though Louis battled really well for us last week and worked really hard, it will be fantastic to have Tom back out on the ground."
Maiden was in attendance as MCUE destroyed Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong by 46 points in last Sunday's elimination final.
He acknowledged the Goannas will be worthy opponents.
"I thought they played some pretty good footy and they certainly moved the ball well at times," he said.