Sydney coach John Longmire hopes to have his injured midfield warhorse Jude Bolton back in harness for the AFL finals.
Longmire learned on Monday his indomitable 297-game warrior wouldn't require surgery after suffering a knee injury against Carlton on Sunday.
"He's got a partial anterior cruciate ligament tear and a partial posterior cruciate tear, so we're probably expecting at this point it will be about a month," Longmire told reporters on Monday.
"Late last night, we were probably expecting the worst, especially after I was able to see the vision of him.
"I didn't think it looked too good, so I went home last night probably thinking the worst and woke up this morning with relative good news.
"I guess, the fact that we could still see Jude Bolton hopefully playing for us this year."
Bolton was a lot more optimistic on Twitter, suggesting he should miss only 2-3 weeks.
Either way, he's going to be absent from Saturday's blockbuster against third-placed Collingwood.
The 32-year-old has kicked a career-best season haul of 20 goals this year, adding a new dimension to his game with stints up forward.
But it's his fearless work at the stoppages ladder-leading Sydney will find hardest to replace in the weekend's ANZ Stadium clash with the Magpies, who are four points behind the Swans on the ladder.
"We've got an number of probably inside midfielders that can play certain roles and the challenge is to do it as good as Jude, because he's a good player," Longmire said.
Longmire was buoyed by the positivity Bolton displayed in the hours immediately after the injury.
"He was running through the airport last night on crutches telling everyone he would be fine, so that's a good sign," Longmire said.
"He's such a resilient, amazingly positive person."
Longmire was hoping ruckman Mike Pyke would be OK to play Collingwood after rolling an ankle against Carlton and feeling sore on Monday.
He emphasised it was time for deeds rather than words when tackling their ten-match losing streak against the Magpies, who they last beat seven years ago.
"We can say we're looking forward to the challenge, but the reality is I'm a big believer in you've actually got to do it," Longmire said.
"That's our challenge for Saturday night is to try and action what we want to do, not just talk about it."